PrairieCat’s Barcode Assessment Preparation

PrairieCat’s Barcode Assessment Preparation


After taking PrairieCat’s Cataloging: Item Entry class, you should begin using your temporary named login to add item records or shadow someone.  It is also recommended to take online classes via Talent LMS ( (you’ll to sign up if you don’t already have an LMS account)  to review:



One you feel you are ready to take the barcode assessment, you can register on L2 for one of our monthly sessions.  The Barcode Certification Test will be given regularly (monthly) at the RAILS Coal Valley, Rockford and Bolingbrook Service Centers. Check the PrairieCat L2 calendar for the next scheduled Barcode Testing day at  I have listed the scheduled sessions for the 2020 calendar year:


PrairieCat Barcode Level Testing
WhereRAILS Bolingbrook Training Room , RAILS Coal Valley Training Room , RAILS Rockford Videoconference/Training Room

Time: (9:00 AM - 3:00 PM)


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Friday, May 15, 2020

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Monday, July 13, 2020

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Monday, November 9, 2020

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Friday, January 22, 2021

This is an open house forum, but registration is required. Come anytime between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. Please allow a couple of hours to complete the test. This test is only for library staff associated with PrairieCat libraries who have previously taken the Sierra Essentials and Sierra Cataloging: Item Entry classes.

The Barcoder Certification Test has two parts, both of which must be passed at the same sitting of the Test. The first part is made up of matching, multiple choice and short answer questions on general terminology, basic MARC and searching. Passing the first part requires getting 14 of the 28 possible points. The second part is made of eight hands-on exercises USING SIERRA where the test taker is asked to follow PrairieCat cataloging policies and procedures in searching, matching and attaching a call number and copy/item record to the proper record, if applicable and reporting any problems with bibliographic records, or referring items to a copy or original cataloger. This portion of the Evaluation requires getting 50 of the 72 possible points. Upon successful completion of the Test, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion for the Barcode Level Test.

Additional resources to use in preparing:
Cataloging Acronyms & Terminology

• Review Sheet Barcode Test Acronyms (pdf) (L2 login is required)
• WebJunction IL Course - Introduction to Cataloging for Non-Catalogers:

Basic MARC

• Understanding MARC Bibliographic: Machine-Readable Cataloging

If you have any questions about the Statewide Cataloging Standards of the Certification tests, please contact John Slanicky (, Sandy Tedder (, or Magda Bonny ( - all can be reached by phone at 877-542-7257.