The Danger of Dual ISBN

Back when I was taking cataloging a decade or so ago, I had a Professor who had what I have found to be a pretty unique perspective: She detested OCLC. She considered WorldCat to be filled with errors and problems. While she may have been a little harsh, she did have a point. For example, in front of me right now, I have “Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney: Slavery, Secession, and the President’s War Powers(Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney: Slavery, Secession, and the President’s War Powers)”: by James F. Simon. If you search for the isbn, “074325032x(Search results for ‘074325032x’)”:, on the book, you will find that it also links to “Whistling past Dixie: how Democrats can win without the South(Whistling past Dixie: how Democrats can win without the South)”: by Thomas F Schaller. According to Amazon, the correct isbn is “0743290151(Search results for ‘0743290151’)”: In the end, it turns out the Schaller book shows both versions of the ISBN and that is why it is searchable either way. My question is, is a mistake presumably made in a CIP record worth keeping?

By Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997.

Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident.

Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida.

He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995.

However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999.

In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.