I teach cataloging for a technician certificate program at a community
college here in California. One encouragement I stress throughout my course
is the importance of knowing cataloging and classification for any aspect of
they job(s) in a library. I usually get 5-10 students in my course that
work in elementary, or high school libraries. It usually takes them at
least 1/2 way through the semester to "get it." I frequently use examples
of my previous experience (or experiences of my colleagues) of providing
service better because my knowledge of cataloging and classification. One
of the hardest areas to get across is part II of AACR2, yet when I am done
many students admit they understand records better, and can perform searches
and reference interviews better because of what they learned. My goal in
teaching the course is to build a better support staff for the area
libraries, and to convince at least one person to become a cataloging
technician. Based upon the evaluations over the past four years I have
Be encouraged you are right to teach the material, they are unknowing in
Hope this helps!
Dawn M. Loomis
Cataloger, Librarian I
Pasadena Public Library
285 E. Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91101
From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata
education & training [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Bruce C Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2004 4:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Introducing cataloging principles to aspiring school library
I have recently completed a 6 week Summer Session teaching
"Classification and Cataloging of Information Resources". This is an
introductory catalgoing course we teach here in the College of Education
for students interested in becoming certified school library media
specialists (school librarians) in the state of Georgia.
As someone who received his professional education in a graduate School
of Library and Information Science (University of Pittsburgh SLIS/SIS
'92, '00), and pratical training in a number of academic libraries, I am
keenly aware of the value of learning both the theory and practice
associated with librarianship in general and cataloging in particular.
Unfortunately, in my student evaluations from the most recent
iteration of this course, I was asked by a number of these students to
severely curtail my effort in the teaching of both bibliographic
description and classification theory in future courses.
Among the sentiments that are expressed by the students to support
their contentations were the following:
" I do not understand why I have to take this course...what is the
point of learning AACR2 and Dewey classification? All of the technical
services for the media centers (school libraries) in our school district
is (will be) done at a central facility...as a media specialist I will
not do original cataloging...why do I need to know this stuff?..."
Although I have yet to receive the set of student evaluations from this
Summer's class, I will teach another section of this course in the Fall
I have sent this message to this list to garner some ideas and advice
from the members of EDUCAT regarding some proven ways to teach this
subject effectively to aspiring school library media specialists given
the scenario and sentiments that were outlined above.
I would appreciate any tips, suggestions, approaches you may be willing
to share to both deliver course content more effectively and provide a
better learning experience for my students in what is perceived (by
them) as a "hard" class.
In closing, I would also like to publicly acknowledge Drs. Lois Mai
Chan and Arlene G. Taylor for their assistance in my teaching of this
material. Your textbooks have helped a number of my students "see the
light" and , for some, to seriously consider careers as catalogers and
Edward C. Lomax, Ph.D.
Department of Middle/Secondary Education and Instructional Technology
Room 636 College of Education
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 651-0188 (voice)
(404) 651-2546 (fax)
email: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>