2-7 Get the Library Cataloging Information for a Book

Each country that keeps a national library catalogs the books published in that country. For most, this cataloging process is called Cataloging in Publication (CIP).

There are international standards of library cataloging, but many countries have created unique cataloging systems at a national level to help local librarians catalog new books, helping them to know where a new book to the library should be placed on its shelves.

International Cataloging in Publication

The author may ask the assistant to register the new publisher as a publisher, making it eligible for CIP data (or the LCCN in the US) and may ask for assistance in meeting the legal deposit requirements. Legal deposit requirements are merely sending a copy of the finished book to one or more state/province or national libraries.

To get the national library cataloging information and legal deposit for your country, Google “Cataloging in Publication, your country” or see the link below:
UShttps://locexternal.servicenowservices.com/pubwww.pcn.loc.gov – one copy of the book must be sent to the Library of Congress
UKwww.bl.uk/aboutus/stratpolprog/legaldep/index.html/ no CIP, but mandatory deposit of each book published in the UK in various libraries within 30 days
AUwww.nla.gov.au/services/CIP.html– Mandatory legal deposit requirement
IRwww.nli.ie No CIP, but mandatory deposit of each book published in Ireland in 8 libraries

National Library Information – US

In the U.S., the Library of Congress is the official repository for all books published in the U.S. Due to the sheer number of books published in the U.S. each year, only the major publishers are eligible to participate in the CIP program.

However, self-published books and books from smaller publishers are eligible to obtain Library of Congress Control Numbers (LCCN) for each of their books, which is just as helpful to librarians. If the author/publisher plans to market to libraries, then getting an LCCN is recommended.

Important Note

You can only get an LCCN before a book is published and not afterwards, so this must be done before publication or the opportunity will be lost. It is a free service so it is worth taking the time to do it.

To obtain an LCCN in the U.S., you must first be approved as a publisher. To do that:

1. Go to https://locexternal.servicenowservices.com/pubhttp://pcn.loc.gov and click on “Open New Account.” At the bottom of the next screen, click on “Application to Participate.”

2. On the next screen is the online application form to apply to be recognized as a publisher. Authors don’t apply for the LCCN, publishers do, so you are filling this out as a publisher.

Hopefully, your author has created a publishing company name, an existing business name or a new name for the publishing work only. Fill in the publishing company name and address, the contact information. The “senior officer” information should be the author. You might encourage the author to get a P.O. box if he or she does not have a business address that can be used here. It is best not to use the home address since this becomes public information.

It also asks for the imprint (there usually isn’t one, unless there is a publishing company with many divisions) and finally your three-digit ISBN prefix (check back in this course about the ISBN if you need to know which three digits are the prefix), and click “submit”. It may take a week to process your application and give you your account number and password, but it generally is much sooner.

3. Once you are approved, you can log in and apply for a LCCN for a new title. It takes only about 24 hours to get the LCCN after initially approved as a publisher. Note the account number and password.
Account Number ________________________
Password ______________________________

4. Go back to the home page: http://pcn.loc.gov/. Click “log on” and enter the account number and password

5. The first time you log in, you will be required to change the password and confirm the change. You can do this by entering the new password in the “New Password” space and re-entering it in the “Confirm New Password” space. You can then click the “Sign On” button.

6. When you log in you can choose one of three options:
a. PCN Application – to request a Preassigned Control Number for a new title. If this is your first time back on the site, you will go here.
b. PCN Change Request – to make a change to the book for which a Preassigned Control Number has already been assigned.
c. Publisher Information Change Request – to update or change information provided when you first applied to participate in the PCN program.

7. To get the LCCN for a new title, click the PCN application option, then click through the next screen to get to the application form. Enter title, subtitle, edition, publisher, publisher city and state, author, number of pages, ISBN, publication date (this can be approximate) and email that the PCN will be sent to, which can be the author or the author’s assistant. Click submit.

8. It can take a week or more to the get the LCCN by email. What you will receive is a series of (usually) 10 digits.

9. The LCCN should be displayed on the copyright page like this: Library of Congress Control Number: 2008943896

Important Note

If you look on the copyright (also called the verso) page of well-known books published by the largest publishers, you will see a block of data instead of the LCCN. This is Cataloging in Publication data and is exclusively prepared for larger publishers and is not available for self-published books or small publishers. You do not need this to sell the book to libraries.

10. You must send a copy of the book immediately after it is printed to the Library of Congress, as instructed online.

The LCCN Never Changes Once Assigned

The LCCN never changes. It stays with the book, even if the edition changes. Only physically printed books are eligible for LCCNs, not eBooks

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