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Cataloger's Desktop: Frequently Asked Questions

Contacting LC

Q & As


Checkmark To access RDA from within Desktop, you must also have an RDA account. Subscribe to RDA Toolkit. Once you have a subscription to RDA Toolkit, follow the directions in Getting started with RDA Toolkit in Cataloger's Desktop
Checkmark If your library has IP recognition access to RDA Toolkit, supply the following values in your Cataloger's Desktop General Preferences:
RDA Username: ip
RDA Password: [blank] (i.e., leave this box blank)
See for instructions in how to input this information.
Checkmark If you input your RDA Username and RDA Password in Cataloger's Desktop Preferences, but are asked to log in again when you try to view RDA, you are experiencing a known RDA bug. Some web browsers (including all web browsers as LC) prevent opening RDA from within Cataloger's Desktop. The developers of RDA plan to address this bug soon. In the meantime, follow the procedure outlined in Getting started with RDA Toolkit in Cataloger's Desktop to resolve this. RDA login
Checkmark If you select a section of RDA and it does not display (i.e., the document pane is blank), the browser is preventing RDA from displaying. This is caused by a security mismatch between Desktop (which has a secure login) and RDA Toolkit (which does not.) If you experience this problem, follow the directions found here.
Checkmark There is no Cataloger's Desktop-RDA Toolkit bundled price. Subscriptions to the two different subscription services are independent of each other, published and maintained by two different organizations, with no package subscription available.

Because Cataloger's Desktop and RDA Toolkit are two entirely separate subscription services, you do not need to have the same number of concurrent users in each product. If you have 1 concurrent user for Desktop, however, then only the one person at a time who is using Cataloger's Desktop will be able to access the RDA Toolkit through Cataloger's Desktop.
Checkmark It is possible to search RDA and LCPS by using AACR2 rule numbers. Simply type the AACR2 rule number into the searchbox and enclose it in quotation marks (e.g. "1.1B1") and then click the Find button next to it. To limit the search to just RDA or LCPS, select the checkbox in the table of contents next to the resource(s) you wish to search before clicking the Find button.


Checkmark To access WebDewey from within Desktop, you must also have an WebDewey account. Subscribe to WebDewey.
Checkmark There is no Cataloger's Desktop-WebDewey bundled price. Subscriptions to the two different subscription services are independent of each other, published and maintained by two different organizations, with no package subscription available.
Checkmark Your WebDewey login is not stored in your Cataloger's Desktop preferences. If you are a WebDewey subscriber, when you select it from the Cataloger's Desktop TOC you will have to fill in your WebDewey login normally. Cataloger's Desktop will not store your WebDewey login.


Q: I use Internet Explorer version 8 (IE8) and it doesn't seem to be working properly. Why?
A: In the course of developing CD4 we discovered that IE8 handles certain web programming language differently from all other browsers. It eventually became apparent that to make Desktop work properly with IE8 it would not work with any other browser. Our recommendation is that you use another browser. It is always best to use the current version of your preferred browser.

Q: If I close the web browser window without logging out of Cataloger's Desktop, is the session immediately terminated and the access freed for another user?
A: Not immediately. The session is timed out after 60 minutes of inactivity. If you would like to free up access immediately, you should log out of the session.



Q: If you've saved a search for yourself, can you re-save it as a shared search?
A: Yes. You can modify the saved search to be shared at a later time.

Q: Do you get the option to edit the bookmark when it is new, or only when it already exists?
A: You can do both.

Q: Can you put a URL in the notes of a bookmark? Say you want to link the bookmark to a local procedure manual.
A: Yes.

Q: If I share a bookmark with a coworker and the coworker deletes the bookmark, does it delete only from their bookmark list or from mine as well?
A: The co-worker cannot delete your bookmark.

Q: How long does your search history remain available, do they expire after a period of time
A: A saved search history has no expiration date. You may want to consider periodically going through your saved searches and deleting any that no longer meet your needs.

Q: How long does your searched history remain if you didn't save?
A: The history comes from the current session only. When you log in the next time, or when you click the "Start over" icon on the Rail, it will be cleared..

Q: Is there a limit to the number of bookmarks?
A: No, there is no limit.

Q: How does a library share with its staff - by logon, or is it an administrative setting?
A: They are stored by institution. The institution is assigned when your account is created.

Q: Can you share a bookmark with only specific staff members, or does it share with the entire group?
A: Shared bookmarks will be shared by everyone at your library.

Q: Can the administrator edit or delete a shared bookmark?
A: No.

Shared Bookmarks

Q: Do all colleagues at my library see the same Shared list automatically? If someone deletes their copy, it's gone for everyone?
A: Yes, and yes.

Q: If you rename a shared bookmark, is it renamed for everyone?
A: Yes.

Q: If you share bookmarks, can you determine which colleagues you share with, or if you share with one colleague do you have to share it with all?
A: If you elect to share a bookmark, it will be available to everyone at your library.


Q: Is there some way for my library's Cataloger's Desktop account administrator to set up my individual login for me?
A: Yes. S/he should use the following procedure:

  1. Point your web browser at . If you previously set your browser to automatically log into Cataloger's Desktop, you will need to go into your browser's cookies and delete the cookie for to be able to see this page.
  2. On the blue ribbon you will see a link to "Administer Account". Click this link.
  3. On the following page, log into your Desktop account using your administrative login. (That is your library's account name and administrative password, NOT your personal login.)
  4. Click the link that says "Click here to manage personal accounts".
  5. The page you are taken to (its URL is ) will allow you to add, delete, or modify any personal logins for your account. When setting up a new login, if you want to force the account owner to change the password the first time they log in, check the "Force Password Change" box

Q: Do we need individual login (with our email addresses as the user name) in addition to the library login?
A: Yes.

Q: If my library is authorized 5 simultaneous users, and we have 10 staff members who use Desktop, will each of the 10 be allowed to register?
A: Yes.

Q: Is there a charge for each individual logon?
A: No.

Q: If this is an account shared by multiple users of the institutional account, can they be different for individuals with different needs?
A: Each user must set up his/her own unique login so that they can set their own preferences.

Q: If a staff member leaves, how does the account administrator remove them from the system?
A: The Library Administrative page allows for multiple staff to have administrative rights.

Q: Can one login email address be used simultaneously by more than one user?
A: No.

Q: Can logins be based on anything other than an email address? For example: student01, student02, etc.
A: No.

Miscellaneous features

Q: May I change the font size for the desktop.
A: You can change the font size in Firefox and IE. This is a function of the browser, not the program.

In Firefox:

  • If your mouse has a wheel on it, you can increase/decrease the text size by holding down the control key and turning the wheel
  • Another method is to hold down the control key and press the "+" or "-" keys; the font will shrink or grow as needed; press Cntl-0 to return to default size
  • A third method is to click on "View" from the title bar, then "Text size" and the choices are there
In IE:
  • The Mouse wheel and title bar "View" options work; Cntl and + or - do not
On the MAC:
  • Has same "View--Text Size" options, and uses command key for some browsers in place of control
See External Link for a nice table of these options.


Q: Are my Preferences linked to my sign-on, rather than to my computer?
A: Yes.

Q: Do my Preferences carry over from the old CD3 interface?
A: Some do. Some don't. You will need to review them to be sure they are set the way you want.

Q: Is there a way to set a default so that you never get resources in languages other than English?
A: Yes. When you set your preferences you will have to select at least one language of resources you want to routinely consult. You can specify more than one language, but you will only see resources in the languages you select.

Q: Is there a way to set a preferred set of resources to be visible institution wide?
A: No.

Q: What is the "Restore to default" button used for in the Preferences menu?
A: This returns your preferences to any default values stored in the system. Not all categories have default values.

Q: After I choose the resources I want to show up in My Resources, am I able to see resources I left out when I do searches?
A: You can see the resources that have been 'left out' by selecting 'All resources' on the Contents page.

Q: If you check nothing in the Desktop Configuration, what happens with Contents?
A: Your Contents will default to Core resources.


Search techniques

Q: I know the AACR2 rule number and want to find related rules in RDA. Can I do that?
A: Yes. Just type the AACR2 rule number into the searchbox, enclose it in quotes (e.g., "1.1B1") and then click the Find button. All of the related RDA instructions will be retrieved. You may want to limit the search by selecting the checkbox next to RDA and/or LCPS.

Q: Can you search words close to one another. For example Cataloger* and Judgement within 5 words?
A: You can search for terms close to one another, but you can not limit that search to specific proximity parameters (such as 'within 5 words')

Q: Can you perform a search term with a wildcard symbol (like an asterisk) in a word?
A: Yes the asterisk wildcard is supported

Q: Is there a limit to the number of saved searches?
A: There is not a hard limit however you will find them less useful with vast numbers of saved resources.

Q: I don't know how to search within a single document.
A: The quickest way to go about that is to select (click or check) the checkbox on the left-hand end of the document's Contents listing. You can choose 1 or more subsections of the document by expanding the top level listing and then selecting each section you want to search.

Q: Are my preferred resources be searched if I use the search box (assuming that I haven't selected some other subset?
A: Yes.

Q: Should you always use quotes?
A: You should enclose more than a single keyword in quotes if you want to do a 'phrase' search, that is to say, all of the words searched together in sequence.

Q: Will Desktop retrieve "catalog" if you search "catalogue"?
A: Yes.

Q: With the catalog/catalogue period/full-stop searches, does it work vice versa? That is, if you search on ""catalogue"" or ""period"", will it be the same number of hits as ""catalog"" and ""full stop"" respectively?
A: Yes, we are using several different thesauri to establish bi-directional linguistic equivalents.

Q: Is there a publically available list of synonyms that Search treats as equivalents?
A: It is not publicly visible.

Q: The search looks like it treated the words accompanying and material separately even though you had them in quotes in the search.
A: It DID find all instances of either word within a document, but it's only pulling up documents that have these words in sequence.

Search - Interface questions

Q: Do the search results ('hits') appear in the hit list in alphabetical order of the resource title?
A: No. Desktop employs search weighting, giving certain very important resources (like the MARC formats, the Subject Headings Manual, the LC-PCC PSs, and RDA) higher relevancy ranking as compared to more specialized or narrowly-focused audience resources.

Q: May I retrieve my search history?
A: You can save any search or series of operations for later consultation. You DO have to save a search if you want to be able to consult it later.

Desktop Discussion List (Listserv)

Available from the Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress |