Cataloging flowchart

Original Catalog Record Request

When do I request an original catalog record?

  • If an item has no ISBN/UPC printed on it at all
  • After a second submission of an ISBN/UPC to orders@owwl.org fails to generate a new catalog record

Original cataloging process

  • Library holdings staff complete and submit the form found at the bottom of this page
  • Requests are processed according to the date received unless special circumstances warrant a change in that workflow
  • If more item information is required to create the record, cataloging staff will contact library holdings staff who submitted the request
  • Cataloging staff reply to each ticket as records are added to the catalog to notify library holdings staff
Note: Using this electronic form eliminates the need for transporting the item via delivery van, and helps increase the speed of creation of new catalog records. On April 15, 2024 we begin a 100% online method for libraries to request original catalog records for their items. Items sent to OWWLHQ after this date will be returned to your library for holdings staff to submit record requests electronically.

Examples of items that may require original cataloging:

  • Self-published works
  • Foreign-published works
  • Realia (toys, games, other three-dimensional items)
  • Kits
  • Local history works

Cataloging contacts

  • Kathryn Riedener
  • Dan Guarracino
If you have questions, please email cataloging@owwl.org

Request Form

Your completed form MUST include:
  • Your email address
  • Your library's name
  • Title (this is the item's title -- see information below for source)
  • Material type (book, audiobook, music CD, video, etc)
  • Genre or Category (fiction, nonfiction, kit, other)
  • Physical description (number of pages; illustrations (color or black and white); maps; height of book in cm; number of discs -- see material type description below for details)
  • Summary (ex. What is the book about? What information does the user need to know?)
Attachments of scans of supporting information (front and back covers, title page, title page verso (back side of the title page), etc.) are welcomed.

Be sure to include additional details and specific information as described in the following section:

  • Title (taken from the title page, not the cover). Include the cover and/or spine title if different in the Additional Comments field (indicating if it is the cover and/or spine title)
  • Author(s)
  • Illustrator(s)
  • ISBN(s) (not a UPC as publisher's tend to reissue these numbers -- check inside the book to see if ISBN matches back cover)
  • Editor(s)
  • Translator
  • Publisher information (place, name, date)
  • Physical description as applicable
    • Number of pages or Unpaged (if pages are not numbered)
    • illustrations (color or black & white), maps, portraits, charts
    • height of book (measured in cm along the spine, round up to the next full cm); include width of book ONLY if the book is wider than it is high
  • Intended audience (Juvenile, Teen, Adult) if known
  • Format (regular or large print)
  • Title (taken from disc surface or container)
  • ISBN
  • Abridged or Unabridged edtion
  • Format (CD, MP3-CD, etc.)
  • Physical description: Number of discs (ex. 7 audio discs)
  • Narrator
  • Playing time
  • Additional format information (VOX book, Playaway, etc.)
  • Intended audience (Juvenile, Teen, Adult) if known
Music CD
  • Title (taken from disc surface or container)
  • UPC
  • Manufacturer number (usually found on container insert or disc)
  • Explicit or edited version (if specified)
  • Physical description: Number of discs
  • Performer(s)
  • Playing time
  • Playlist
  • Form of music (jazz, rap, classical, etc.)
  • Intended audience (Juvenile, Teen, Adult) if known
  • Title (taken from disc surface or container)
  • Format (DVD, Blu-ray, 4K-UHD)
  • UPC or ISBN
  • Manufacturer number (usually found along spine of container, sometimes on disc)
  • Publisher (Parmount, Warner Bros., etc.)
  • Physical description
    • number of discs
    • playing time
    • color or black & white content
  • Full screen or wide screen
  • Motion picture of Television program
  • Cast
  • Rating (G, PG, R, Unrated) and the reason (language, violence, etc.) (This information is most likely included on packaging)
  • Director
  • Actor(s) (5 names max)
  • Language(s) of dialogue and subtitles
Video games
  • Title (taken from disc or chip surface, or container)
  • UPC
  • Gaming platform (XBox One, PS5, Nintendo Switch, computer, etc.)
  • Physical description
    • Number of discs, chips or flashdrives (ex. 1 computer disc, 1 computer chip, 1 USB flashdrive)
  • Rating and/or recommended age level
Realia (physical objects such as kits, toys, sculptures, tools, bike locks, cake pans, etc.)
  • The title you are giving this object (Adventure box: Gardening; Flower cake pan, etc.)
  • What this object is (if different from the staff-assigned title)
  • UPC if available
  • Name of manufacturer
  • Year manufactured (or assembled if a kit)
  • Physical description
    • contents if more than 1 object
    • color and material of object(s) (ex. black, plastic, electronic)
    • size of object(s) (measured in cm across 3 dimensions)
  • Contents list
  • Intended audience/user age
  • Restrictions on circulation (check out/check in only at issuing library, etc.)
Original Catalog Record Request
Your Email Address *
Library *
Material Type *
Genre or Category *
Physical Description
Additional format information
Publisher or Manufacturer
Year (copyright, published, manufactured)
Additional material type details
Additional comments, contents, playlist, illustrator, editor, ratings, use restriction, etc
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