Manga at the Toronto Public Library – Part 1

May 25, 2006 at 11:21 am 6 comments

One of the reasons I've been so sporadic with my posting lately is that I've been working on a very big list.  I indulged my tendency to occasionally get obsessive and decided to try to find most of the manga in the Toronto Public Library.  This involved running various searches and compiling the results to see which search worked best for finding manga at the library. 

After doing all of this work, I debated whether or not to actually make it a post and eventually decided to go ahead and publish what I had done.  Why not share all that work?  :)  I wasn't sure if I wanted to publish one big list, make it a separate page, confound people searching for titles who might get this entry in their results even if it was completely useless to them, did I want to maintain or update the list (NO!), etc.  I was also a little worried that it might seem that I was picking on the library here since what I was doing was finding inconsistencies in cataloguing and so on, but really that wasn't my purpose.  It was curiosity to see what they had and how they were classifying it all. 

It was interesting to see the differences in how they catalogued the earlier manga and what they're doing for the newer titles.  That's another reason I don't want it to seem like I'm only criticizing what they've done – practices change over the years, and Toronto is a huge city with multiple branches that amalgamated into one big system back when we became the GTA.  No one is going to go back and recatalogue things just because manga's popular now.  Heck, I was having trouble being consistent in the list I was building (and in my manga library list) and I'm only one person using my own methods. 

One thing the TPL definitely should work on?  Consistency in the records for manga in the same series (for instance, use the same subjects for each book, same author entry, etc) and USE SUBJECTS!  I had run about eight different searches, sifted through hundreds and hundreds of records and only found out yesterday that they had Tsubasa and xxxHolic in their catalogue when I clicked on Clamp's author entry to confirm their Cardcaptor Sakura holdings.  arg!    I also found an error in one of their xxxHolic records – they listed Tsubasa as the uniform title and also as the original translation.  I sent them a note through their feedback to let them know that it was two different series and got a response back saying the cataloguing department would look into it.  We'll see if they fix it or not.  

The moral of that little story is keep clicking when you're searching, I guess.  You never know what else is going to turn up.  :)

I'll post my search strategy and the results later today or tomorrow.  I'm still doing a bit of tweaking and I didn't want to make one incredibly huge entry.  It seemed logical to separate my motives from my results.  :)  I'm also not planning on maintaining the list.  This took hours and hours to do and is NOT something I'm going to repeat any time soon!  From now on I find out about manga additions from their new book list, and I'll hope that they make an effort to include it all. 

Updated to add here since I'm afraid of messing up the formatting in the big post again:  If you're looking for Viz and/or Tokopop titles the most efficient way of searching seems to be by publisher keyword.  It picks up all the titles lacking subjects as well as the one that use graphic novel as a subject. 

Edited again because Toronto is the GTA, not GTO.  Too much manga!


Entry filed under: library stuff, manga.

Lunchtime trauma Manga at the Toronto Public Library – Part 2

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bucky  |  May 27, 2006 at 10:30 am

    This list is amazing! You truly are insane! I’m totally going to print this list out and take advantage of your hours of hard labour.

    Plus, now that I know what the library has, I can better influence their Manga purchasing decisions next time they come to the bookstore for their quarterly-ish book buying splurge. Tee-hee.


  • 2. pajcat  |  May 27, 2006 at 11:04 am

    Ha! Glad it's going to come in handy. I think the only thing I put on hold from the list for myself is Hellsing.  My friend was teasing me about doing this, but it was bugging me.  Now the list is done, I know the answer to my questions and I can forget about it and move on to my next obsession.  :) 

  • 3. Jen  |  June 19, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    Came across your blog randomly – I work in the Toronto Public Library system – going through what you’re reading now…

  • 4. pajcat  |  June 21, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    Hi! If you like manga, I hope the list will be useful. (Or did you mean my personal stuff?) The actual list is in part two ( my stats say people click on this post, but very rarely on the post with the list, which is the exact opposite of what I thought would start happening. (tho it’s good, because I had horrible visions of screwing up people’s searches).

  • 5. Jen  |  June 26, 2006 at 2:57 am

    I meant the personal stuff – I catch some Manga stuff as it comes through check-in.
    It’s so popular now!!

  • 6. pajcat  |  June 26, 2006 at 7:24 am

    I was talking to my nephew last night and he says they’re building a collection of manga at the library in the town he lives in. His population 1000, library only open 16 hours a week public library. It truely is spreading everywhere. Which is awesome because that means more manga for everyone. :) As you can probably tell, though, I’m more of a buyer of manga than a borrower. :P


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