19.1. MARC Records via Z39.50 Interface

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Sitka Training Video - Z39.50 (5:20)

It is good practice and Sitka policy to check the Evergreen database for existing records before importing a record. You may search the catalogue first. Or you can configure the Z39.50 screen to search the Evergreen database as well as multiple Z39.50 targets at once. If searching Evergreen via the Z39.50 screen and you find a record, it is best practice and Sitka policy to then find that record in the catalogue and attach your holdings to it. If you have confirmed that there is no record in Evergreen that matches the item in your hand, but have found a record in another database, simply import the new record into Evergreen and then attach holdings.

19.1.1. Importing Records via Z39.50 Interface

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  1. To access Z39.50 interface, select CataloguingImport Record from Z39.50

  2. Select single or multiple pre-configured Z39.50 targets from the list. Note that most free targets do not have a User name or Password field. Some free targets and the subscription services held by some Sitka libraries require login. Once you have made your choices, click Save as Default to save the services you usually search and any user names and passwords you have entered. They will be automatically selected the next time you open the Z39.50 screen.

  3. Fill in preferred search criteria and click Search. Note that the active search fields will change depending on the targets you select. Different targets may support different search types. For instance, Keyword and Subject will only be active if the local catalogue is selected. When you select multiple targets to search, an active box may apply to only one target.

  4. Search results are displayed in the lower pane. You may click on Hide Top Pane to make more space for the result list. You may Fetch More Results, if applicable. Information about each retrieved record appears on a separate summary line, with various columns of information. If a cover image is available, it will display as well. The Service column indicates where the record was found. If “native-evergreen-catalog” is listed in this column, the record is in Evergreen. You may view MARC records, choose to import or overlay MARC records. This example demonstrates importing a record.

    To import a record, choose the record from the results list that you would like to import. You should view the record first by choosing MARC View. When you are sure you have chosen the correct record to import, click Import.


    Sitka has profiled certain fields, primarily 9xx fields, to be automatically stripped when records are imported through Z39.50. The default fields that are stripped are 906, 923, 925, 936, 948, 955, 959, 963. Please contact Co-op support if you would like to see additional fields automatically stripped.

  5. The record opens in the MARC Editor. From here you can edit fixed and bibliographic fields. Note that you may also select Fast Item Add and input call number and barcode data from this screen. Once your edits are complete, click Import Record.

  6. Copy Editor will be loaded for you to edit the item record.

  7. Once the item record is saved, the imported MARC record and the newly created item record will be displayed on Record Details screen.

If you did not utilize Fast Item Add as described above, the Copy Editor will not be loaded. Instead, the newly imported record will be displayed in a new tab. You may now attach holdings as described in Chapter 15, Adding Holdings to Existing Records in the Sitka Database.

19.1.2. Overlaying Records via Z39.50 Interface

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There are times when it is necessary to overlay an existing MARC record in Evergreen with a better MARC record from a Z39.50 target. This lesson will demonstrate the steps required to achieve an overlay. Overlaying a MARC record replaces an existing MARC record and leaves all holdings, and corresponding holds, active circulations, bills, and fines intact. As overlay affects all libraries sharing a MARC record it is critical that this procedure be done judiciously and correctly. Please refer to Sitka’s cataloguing policy, Co-op support, or your library’s cataloguing mentor, if in place, for more information about this process and its effect on the shared database.

Marking a Record for Overlay

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You must first identify the MARC record in Evergreen, which you wish to be overlaid. You do this by “marking” it for overlay. The marked-for-overlay effect is temporary for a login session, and only one record at a time can be marked. When you mark another record, the previous record is unmarked. Once a record is marked, it stays marked until it is overlaid, or another record is marked, or you log out of Evergreen. Therefore, you can mark and overlay one record at a time, following through the entire process to completion before moving on to another record.

  1. Select CataloguingSearch the Catalogue, SearchSearch the Catalogue or press F3 to search Evergreen for the record that needs to be overlaid. It is best practice to start with a fresh search screen so that all prior searches are cancelled. This ensures the correct title record is opened and marked.

  2. Click on title link to display the record details. It is important that you ensure the record is fully loaded on screen and displaying title information for the correct record in the top Record Summary area.

  3. Select Actions for this RecordMark for Overlay. Record is now “marked”. You will see "Record with TCN xxxxxxxx Marked for Overlay" displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Overlaying Using Z39.50

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Sitka Snippet Video - Overlay via Z39.50 (4:23)

  1. Go to Import Record from Z39.50 to find a target record as described in Section 19.1.1, “Importing Records via Z39.50 Interface”. This record should be a fuller and better catalogued record than the one you are overlaying. You may select potential records on the list based on the summary. Click on MARC View to see the full MARC record. Go back to Result View to highlight your selected target, then click Overlay. You are then given the opportunity to edit the record before overlaying.

  2. The record opens in the MARC Editor. From here you can edit fixed and bibliographic fields. Note that you may also select Fast Item Add and input call number and barcode data from this screen. Once your edits are complete, click Overlay Record. Below screen shows the MARC record in Flat Text Editor.

  3. Next, you are asked to confirm that the marked record is the one you want to overlay. You can view the record at this time. Confirm that this is the correct record by clicking Overlay.

  4. You have successfully overlaid the record. The Copy Editor will be loaded if you have chosen to Fast Add Item, or you will see the bibliographic record displayed in a new tab.


You may search the Evergreen database by searching Local Catalogue on the Z39.50 interface. On the result list, you may highlight a record and mark it as the overlay target by using the Mark Local Result as Overlay Target button. Before you do so, you need to view the full record to make sure this is the correct record to be overlaid. If you wish to check holdings, you may use the Show in Catalgoue button to display the record in the catalogue in a new tab.


If the record that you wish to overlay contains local information, e.g. tag 590 or 690, you need to manually add these tags to the record you intend to import. You may add the tags before overlaying. Or, you may import the record first, then merge the two records. When merging the records, the two records will be displayed side-by-side on screen, which makes it easier to copy over the local tags from the non-lead record.

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