As Lorna pointed out, some schools do still require cataloging. LSU is one of them. I readily admit that cataloging is not my first love -- that would be library history -- or my second -- that would be children's services. But I have the experience and the Ph.D., and the willingness to teach it.
I agree with everything the Lorna said. It is certainly preferable for those with an interest in teaching and research in cataloging to earn a Ph.D. I wish that we had more tenure-track faculty teaching and doing research in cataloging. I might be able to convince SLIS to hire someone else to do it, and let me teach storytelling. In the meantime, I'm applying for an IMLS grant to do research in cataloging education; frankly, I love research, in any area.
But if you do not have an interest in research (in any area), then you'll find the process of earning a Ph.D. extremely unpleasant, and the research requirements of a tenure-track position a hideous chore. It's better to teach as adjunct than spend 6 years at a position, only to be denied tenure and given one year to pack your things and go.
Suzanne M. Stauffer, Ph.D.
School of Library and Information Science
Louisiana State University
275 Coates Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
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From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education & training on behalf of Buzz Haughton
Sent: Mon 12/7/2009 7:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [eduCAT] PhDs for cataloging instructors, or not?
I'm one of those MLS-only cataloging instructors working as adjunct faculty
at the School of Library and Information Studies at the U of Alabama. Before
I came on two semesters ago, there had been no cataloging teacher at SLIS
for nine years, according to the full-time faculty member assigned to
instruct me in online software, etc.
I've been a cataloger for almost thirty years now. If someone had asked me
about the theoretical underpinnings of cataloging fifteen years ago
(metadata, etc.), I would not have known what they were talking about. I've
since then educated myself, but I can't say that learning the theory has
enhanced my cataloging. It has enhanced my understanding of what's on the
horizon, i.e. RDA.
Reactions to my class are mixed. Those who want theory don't get enough; I
spend the first and second weeks of the once-a-week-for-three-hours course
discussing theory, and then I delve right into what I'm dating myself by
calling the nitty-gritty. I barely have enough time in a semester to go over
descriptive cataloging, subject analysis, classification and then books,
serials, sound recordings, videos/DVDs and web pages. (I usually don't have
time to say anything about maps.) But some of the students have remarked
that I'm the only instructor they had during their library school tenure who
actually does what he teaches on a daily basis, and they appreciate that.
If I could get a Ph. D., I think I would like doing so, and I have no doubt
it would make me a better instructor. But in the world-of -today library
schools, where cataloging is no longer a required course and it appears
there are not enough willing instructors, I think I'm better than nothing.
100 NW Quad
Davis CA 95616-5292
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