When I was at Columbia, Arlene taught a course on Technical Services. That
is where she covered most of the management aspects of cataloging
departments, including vendor systems, RPFs, and building a department
from scratch. That took an entire semester and was packed with content.
Danny, does your research include TS courses?
My Metadata course also covers metadata project management including
workflow and our Digital Libraries course covers all the aspects of the DL
planning process. When I did my curriculum study (many moons ago), I noted
that in order to cover all the aspects of cataloging and catalog
department (many of which are changing names to Metadata Services
Departments) management, we had to look at the overall curriculum and
adopt a more integrated approach. I think that is more important than ever
now. I frequently hear from students how different aspects of IO fall into
place when they take other courses and they begin to see the broader
> I tell my students that cataloging is like shop class where they
> are making a beautiful paper towel holder for their moms as a way to
> learn how to safely use cataloging tools (without accidentally
> sticking a MARC indicator in an eye), but that real life cataloging
> today is more like an industrial process than the craft of previous
> Beyond the things one learns by actually wielding the tools, do you
> think that the industrial aspects of cataloging should have a more
> prominent place in the standard cataloging course? They are certainly
> less amenable to workshop learning and more in the
> managerial/theoretical mode that has been proposed as the proper
> level for master's courses.
> Does anyone think that someone like Arthus Marx would have come out
> of the one cataloging course less overwhelmed if there were more
> emphasis on catalog management or database-level decision-making? Or
> is that the province of an IR or DL or web design course and
> cataloging shouldn't touch it?
> (Note that I am asking this question fully aware of Arlene Taylor's
> comments about the overstuffed cataloging course. I have no idea what
> could be jettisoned to make any new aspect of cataloging fit.)
> Diane Hillman wrote:
>>I think the other important reason for this kind of shift is that
>>increasingly cataloging is not being done by professional
>>librarians, but by staff trained in the mechanics, not the theory.
>>The materials developed by the PCC and others are not necessarily
>>designed just for librarians and don't generally rely on a good
>>theoretical background to be useful--more a "rules and tools"
>>What I see happening is that even well-trained and experienced
>>cataloging professionals are doing less cataloging, and more
>>training, reviewing and management of increasingly complex
>>cataloging operations, where "handmade" cataloging must play well
>>with "industrial" cataloging from vendors and others. The people
>>with the understanding of IO and retrieval gradually seem to get
>>involved in project planning, web design, and other activities for
>>which cataloging training is amazingly useful, but it cuts into the
>>portion of their time when they're actually cataloging.
> Cheryl Boettcher Tarsala
> Adjunct Assistant Professor
> LEEP Program, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
> University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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> [log in to unmask]
> The views expressed here are my own and not those of UIUC or GSLIS.
Dr. Sherry Vellucci
School of Information, Communication and Library Science
4 Huntington St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
732-932-7500 ext. 8232
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