I agree with both Diane and Buzz,
I finished my MLIS at UW in 2010, and I've been working at a small branch
of the A&M system since then. I would say that the small amount of
'practical cataloging' covered in LIS 530 (I didn't take the advanced
cataloging course) wasted precious time, especially in the short ten week
period. When it came time to learn how to do MARC records it seemed like
most people either didn't get it, or if they did it wasn't enough coverage
to really be meaningful once they got a job. I learned most of my practical
cataloging skills working as a copy cataloger at UC Davis (back when Buzz
was still there : ) ) and through internships. I would say keeping the
focus on the theory, history and future in the LIS courses is sound advice.
I think it's great that you are highlighting the INFX courses, I wish I had
taken more than just the one needed to graduate. I am kicking myself for
not taking more than just INFX 542. I don't know if the iSchool has
developed a specialization track for cataloging and metadata, but if they
are, most of those INFX courses should be required for graduating.
Diane is right about there not being many opportunities for continuing
education for people in traditional cataloging roles, and I know I will
become obsolete without updating my skills. I am starting to take an open
course on databases from Stanford in two weeks, and I am going trough the
open course offerings of MIT to see if there are useful open courses for me
to take. For now it's the best I can do.
Good luck on your presentation Allyson, I wish I could be at ALA midwinter
to see it.
Texas A&M International University
Email: [log in to unmask]
On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM, Allyson Carlyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thanks Diane, this is great - and, I'm going to share it with my advanced
> cataloging students this term.
> Allyson (who is still working on how to approach her advanced cataloging
> class these days and has to decide by Sunday!!)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata
> education & training [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Diane
> Sent: Friday, January 04, 2013 9:10 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [eduCAT] Seeking input for upcoming ALCTS CAMMS talk
> Allyson, et al.:
> These are really important issues, and while not really daunted by the
> variety of opinion, I find myself most in agreement with Buzz's point of
> view, most likely because my teaching tends to be of the adjunct variety. I
> have to say that I think the practical stuff is overrated as appropriate
> content for a graduate level course. Yes, people want to be able to hit the
> ground running, but IMHO, those folks should be encouraged to work as a
> copy cataloger for a while or in conjunction with their coursework.
> What can't be learned on the job and IS appropriate for teaching at the
> master's level is 1) how cataloging as practiced both fits in and violates
> the theories of information organization; 2) how cataloging is changing and
> MUST change to be useful in the world we live in now; 3) what is metadata
> and how is it the same/different from cataloging.
> The people in programs working towards a master's degree today are very
> unlikely to be working in a cubicle surrounded by trucks of books and other
> materials with the job of fitting it all into an already existing catalog
> based on MARC and the shared cataloging of yesterday. If we train them for
> those jobs we are doing them a huge disservice, because it is unlikely that
> those jobs will be done by MLS librarians after the current crop retires.
> This is not to question the relevance of knowing about how current
> cataloging practice evolved, what problems it was designed to solve, and
> why those problems are no longer relevant--but it doesn't require knowing
> how to create a catalog record. If you don't think that cataloging
> experience can be both a help and a hindrance to understanding where our
> world is going, please take a look at Autocat and some of the other
> discussion lists packed with catalogers protesting the inexorable changes
> coming by insisting that the world still needs the kind of cataloging
> they've been doing for decades.
> If you're not convinced of this, take a look at the job ads that come out
> looking for cataloging and metadata librarians. These are the people who
> will manage change--and lots of it--in all kinds of libraries for as much
> of the near future that we can articulate. They will not be closely
> supervising hordes of professional catalogers, much less copy catalogers.
> Professional catalogers who are looking for help in making this leap are
> everywhere, and frankly, they're not getting the continuing education they
> need to manage the changes they're already seeing where they work. I see
> them in conferences and workshops, mostly, and few of them need convincing
> that they need help. I think it would be great if the library schools were
> looking more at meeting their needs as well, but so far I've seen little
> evidence of interest.
> I find it discouraging that so many of the justifications I see for
> continuing to teach the practicalities of cataloging come from students
> trying as best they can to articulate what they think they need. I'm not
> sure that was ever enough to build a useful curriculum, and it certainly
> isn't now. I'm sure I'll make many on this list uncomfortable by saying
> that in my opinion, most library school (or iSchool, if you prefer) faculty
> that I've met are not able to adequately prepare their students for these
> changes because their own learning and experience has not kept up. I'd like
> to see that change, but nothing I've suggested so far has taken hold.
> Time to take a few deep breaths and get back to work ...
> Diane Hillmann
> "For many years a cataloger, but now a professional troublemaker"