Libraries: Bibliographic Data and Public Access

Libraries provide an essential public service, with the rise of digital communications only adding to the responsibilities and possibilities.  As part of the publication process, there is in many countries an obligation to inform the national library in the country of publication about the forthcoming title and then to provide legal deposit copies.  In the case of Thursday’s Lotus, I have so far donated copies to the US Library of Congress, the British Library, the Bodleian, St. Cross College library (where I studied for my Master’s), and a couple of local libraries – Summertown Library in Oxford and Hagley Library in Worcestershire.  I hope to add to this list in due course, intending especially to donate to libraries in Thailand.

Why have I put the US Library of Congress first in the list?  It’s because — as far as I have been able to determine — the place of publication has been recorded as the United States.  I used a CreateSpace-assigned ISBN, and according to the guidance notes on the CreateSpace website, this means that the place of publication is the United States.  Whilst I am the publisher, the close involvement of CreateSpace as the imprint seems to be the main factor in this.

In any case, it made sense for me to get in touch with the British Library to inform them ahead of publication as the UK is the primary target for distribution.  So I uploaded details to the Bibliographic Data Services online submission service.  These details constitute the cataloguing in publication data, key bibliographic details that are made available to other libraries, book stores and others who might stock the book.  As this was the first time that I had provided such information, I was glad to receive the helpful advice from the BDS support team.

The data duly appeared in the British National Bibliography list for 13 April 2016, the date of publication (p. 34), reproduced here:

Thursday’s lotus : the life and work of Fuengsin Trafford /
Paul Joseph Trafford ; illustrated by Chanaphan Rassameepiyarak ;
edited by Robert Bullard, Jane Struthers, Sue Mumford-Smith. —
North Charleston : CreateSpace, 2016. — 1 volume ; 23 cm.
ISBN 9781523935185 (pbk.) : £9.95
BNB Number GBB651786

Trafford, Fuengsin.
Buddhists. Great Britain, Biography.

Prepublication record

Having registered this information, I could (probably should) have included this in the copyright page, but I forgot, so have included it here. However, it may yet appear as CreateSpace is print on demand, after all!