Special Libraries Cataloguing, Inc.

Home page of J. McRee Elrod (1932-2016)

J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, born in Gainesville Georgia, March 23, 1932. Moved to Athens, and then rural area outside Athens (Hull), after the Gainesville Tornado, when he was in the first grade. Second grade through an A.B. (history magna cum laude) was at the University of Georgia. (The elementary and high school were a demonstration school for the Faculty of Education of the University.) A quarter at Emory was followed by an M.A. (L.S.) at Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, than an M.A. (Theology) at Scarritt College, also Nashville. (These two institutions at that time had an alliance with Vanderbilt, which allowed the students of any to take classes at the other two. Several classes were therefore taken at Vanderbilt.)

Field work for the second degree was in Black Tennessee churches. This was followed by a year at Yale learning Korean, five years in Korea establishing a library school and organizing a university library, and then back to Peabody to teach and get a third master's degree (M.S.L.S.). The relationship with the Black churches resumed, and work with Black churches and the civil rights movement carried through until the departure for Canada. About five years each was spent in Fayette, Missouri, and Delaware, Ohio, in Methodist college libraries.

Correspondence from a good Korean friend working for the U.S. Army in Korea led the Elrods to decide the Viet Nam conflict was evil and so they departed for Canada and assisted war objectors to immigrate. For about ten years Mac was Head of Cataloguing at the University of British Columbia.

In January of 1979 Mac started a business cataloguing for special libraries. Today the business, Special Libraries Cataloguing, catalogues for about 50 libraries. One or two cataloguers work on site, while others work at a distance.

Mac was also a retired Unitarian minister and performed the occasional rite of passage.

Having discovered Email, and in particular the mailing list Autocat, Mac posted letters on a variety of topics including cuttering, catalogue construction, microform cataloguing, the classification of automation (QA 76), requirements of remote cataloguing, and additions to the KF classification (to which Mark has done an index).

Mac prepared cataloguing "cheat sheets" to assist in training. Cheat sheets exist for monographs, serials, sound recordings, video recordings, electronic resources, and _authority records. There are also directions for mapping the elements of the MARC record to an OPAC and its indexes, and a list of form subdivisions to assist in retrospective changing them to $v from $x.

Mac was asked to give a keynote address at the OLAC 2010 conference. You may read the text of his talk "Rules were made for the patron, not patrons for the rules," (from which he departed in delivery), and the handout suggesting rule bending, arranged by MARC field.

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