re: cataloging classes etc
I really want my cataloging students to look at bibliographic records and
think about each field carefully. Even the best of catalogers out there do
not really spend their day anymore trying to perfect a record, they just
don't anymore--and I have worked in rare book cataloging as well. The goals
have changed somewhat, so there should be certain skills and education about
cataloging all students should really be thinking about. My students are
asked to catalog 5 books for their final projects--most of them do this as
they are supposed to, and also have shown what they know all term, and
discussed, and questioned things.
Many students taking beginning cataloging are overwhelmed as soon as they
see AACR2 arrive in the mail, so I want to encourage students to continue
with cataloging in their futures. If they had to think that they were
supposed to "perfect" a catalog record in my class, I would have no
students. Also if I was interviewing a professional cataloger with 10 years
of experience, I really wouldn't be asking he or she the same questions. We
don't test incoming professionals with such, so I wouldn't personally expect
that of a graduate student. I began cataloging as a support staff at
Columbia when my supervisors were still editing our work with red pens and
paper, then we would all sign up for our hour shifts of inputting on a
communal workstation. About a year later, that all changed thankfully. I
think it is important to students to have some interest, and develop certain
skills of evaluation, good judgment and problem solving. I've cataloged for
over 10 years and with so much technology still changing with OCLC etc there
are some things that students and professional catalogers today simply must
learn as they go along too. Libraries that still have backlogs are most
likely creating minimal level records just to get them out and circulating
with temporary records. 'Perfection' should not be the goal of cataloging
records anymore. We do have a large number of interested future catalogers
at our program, and that is a very positive step forward.
Just some thoughts,
Karen Weaver, MLS
Adjunct Instructor, Cataloging & Classification
The iSchool at Drexel University
College of Information Science & Technology
email: [log in to unmask]
Electronic Resources Statistician
Duquesne University, Gumberg Library
email: [log in to unmask]
On Fri, May 8, 2009 at 9:52 AM, Bryan Campbell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> If it were up to me, rather than make up examples or modify existing ones,
> I would just test using materials that have no copy or really bad copy.
> There are advantages to this approach:
> (1) You will discourage students from just cutting and pasting from a
> utility or catalog.
> (2) You will have the basis for upgrading an existing record or adding a
> new one.
> (3) You chip away at some of your library's backlog each semester you offer
> the course.
> Consider awarding extra points to those students who get closest to what it
> would take to add the record into WorldCat. It seems a shame to test
> students but not use some of their best work to add to the commons.
> Bryan campbell
> [log in to unmask]