In your hurry to start reading a new book, you may occasionally have noticed on the back of the title page a rather strange arrangement of words and numbers headed by the caption, “Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data.”
Did you ever wonder why and how Library and Archives Canada (LAC) puts its stamp on your personal reading material, and on pretty much every publication published in Canada? The answer is simple. Cataloguing in Publication, or CIP as it is commonly known, is prepared by librarians ahead of a book’s launch date. CIP allows Canadian libraries to pre-order a book, catalogue and classify it quickly, thus putting it into the hands of library patrons faster than if each library had to do all the cataloguing and classification work themselves.
Nearly 9,000 new Canadian publications a year are catalogued by the CIP team, a group of about ten cataloguers in LAC’s Description Division. The team works closely with dozens of publishers across the country in an effort to share metadata about Canadian books worldwide. The Canadian CIP Program, which has been in existence since the 1970s, is one of the great success stories of LAC, and one that keeps repeating itself, one book at a time.
To find out more about the program, visit Cataloguing in Publication.