I just spent 20 minutes with a student hunting down the album number of a particular jazz album that was released last year. Lord’s Jazz Discography didn’t have it (the album is too recent to be included), Amazon didn’t have it (preferring to list only their own unique identifier, the ASIN number), the artist’s site didn’t list it (preferring to link to Amazon for all album information… For Circular Reference, see Reference, Circular; For Reference, Circular, see Circular Reference), and the recording label didn’t list it in their catalog either.
Then, just as we were deciding between giving up, going out to a music store and just looking at the album itself, or emailing the artist (who’s young and new and would probably do anything for a student who mentions studying the artist’s work in college), I remembered catalogers and the wonderfully meticulous work they do. Surely somebody has this album in their collection, and surely some cataloger has already done this hunting for us.
A quick WorldCat search brought up the album, and sure enough, there it was! Not only the album number, but also the recording and release dates… just sitting there waiting for us. O Frabjous Day! Catalogers ROCK!!