If there is one thing I have learned during my first few years as an FCIL librarian, it is that our catalogers are rarely as excited as I am when the foreign language selections come in. This is why I was so pleased to find Leanne Olson‘s LITA blog post, Cataloging a World of Languages, while sorting through all of the #IALL2014 and #LVI2014 tweets this morning.
Olson identifies just a few of the challenges facing the cataloger of foreign language titles and shares a number of free tools that catalogers and others may find useful in working in an unfamiliar language. She covers language identifiers, translation tools, bibliographic dictionaries, and subject-specific glossaries. She also has suggestions for how to deal with non-Roman alphabets and transliteration and with those pesky diacritics that may not quite work with your system’s encoding scheme.
As a reference librarian and foreign law selector, I can see these tools being useful in my work, as well. Either way, I enjoy finding sources that allow me to offer even a little assistance to our technical services librarians when it comes to foreign language titles – or, at the very least, to better understand the difficulties they face. If you have any tips or tricks for cataloging foreign language titles, please share them in the comments section below! In the meantime, I will definitely be bookmarking Olson’s post for safekeeping.