What a great conversation. I had hoped for this kind of passionate debate on this list and I thank everyone
for your comments and thoughts, even though we have moved a bit away from my original question.
I can understand someone taking pause at my initial question about how many records/week is the "right" amount.
I should say that this isn't all my advanced cataloging class is doing.
We've looked at RDA, talked about the changes from AACR2 to RDA (die, Rule of Three, die!) and how/if these are supported in the cataloging literature. As we've done record creation, we've looked at how RDA might produce different records and asked how the differences might support the purposes of the catalog. Everyone has researched a metadata standard other than MARC/AACR2 and has written a paper and given a live (online) presentation on their standard of choice. The research involved interviewing a practitioner who uses that standard as well as consulting the literature and reviewing the standard's documentation. (Still looking for someone using LOM if anyone has any leads!)
We've had live (also online) guest lectures by a music cataloger, a serials cataloger, an authorities librarian, a moving image archivist, and a law library cataloger.
So I think it's been a pretty well-rounded class.
But I still maintain that one should have some hands-on practice, especially in an advanced course, and it's been a challenge to figure how much feels "just right" in the midst of everything else. Diane's excellent suggestion helped me maintain my sanity by providing an "ideal" version of the records and then having the students proofread and comment on one another's work. (Of course I then proofed the proofreading and comments, but it was still less time-consuming.)
But back to whether cataloging students should be learning to actually catalog: I think they should.
If our cataloging rules aren't based on our cataloging theory, then what in God's name are we doing? Seriously, we catalogers might as well go pick daisies or something if we're fussing about a standard that our best scholarship doesn't support.
Mary L. Miller, C.A.
Peabody Awards Collection Archivist
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