Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A letter to the VPL concerning their catalogue

Over the summer your catalogue seems to have developed a fairly serious problem in regards to your collection of graphic novels. At some point it seems that many of them were, for no apparent reason, reclassified from "Comic Book" to "Book".

Let's look at some examples.

1. If I search for Scott Pilgrim I get 23 items. If I limit this to "Comic Book" (under "Book" in the "Format" sidebar), this goes down to three items, one of which is actually a DVD. (If you don't believe me go look at the Full Record description where it's described as "Scott Pilgrim vs. the world [videorecording]".)

If I instead limit it to "Book", I get 15 results, the first seven of which are actually comic books/graphic novels (the rest of which are not actually related to Scott Pilgrim).

2. If I search for X-Men I get 179 results. If I limit this to "Comic Book" I get 13 results, including 2 DVDs, 2 children's books, 1 novel, a "how to draw" book, and a non fiction book. Not very useful.

If I limit this to "Book" I get 150 results, many (most?) of which are actually comic books/graphic novels.

3. If I search for Ghost World I get 318 items. If I limit this to "Comic Book" I get 2 results, one of which is a DVD and one of which is a comic, but not Ghost World by Daniel Clowes.

If I limit to "Book" the top two results are graphic novels, though one of them seems to be unsure of whether it's Ghost World or Maggie the Mechanic.

4. If I search for Naruto I get 129 results. If I limit this to "Comic Book" I get 25 results, and most of them seem to be actually comics! Only one (that I saw) is a DVD.

If I limit to "Book" I get 53 results, dozens of which are comics.

I think this to be a serious problem because people cannot effectively use your catalogue to find graphic novels.

I do not believe that this was a problem earlier this year, and I do not know what has happened, but I hope something is done about it soon.


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