Thank you so much for your input!
As to your questions - sorry to be vague. A byproduct of trying to pull this together at the last minute, when I'm also prepping for upcoming classes, etc.
Re topic- I really am going to talk about cataloging classes, not info org in general - so, regarding the lack of required cataloging courses, yes, a given, but I'm interested in all of the pertinent classes, whatever one considers those to be (I'd rather not specify).
Re what type of students - students in MLIS programs who intend to be catalogers - I think that is the major interest of the CAMMS group. But also, the panel covers this issue (what should they know) for graduated MLIS students who are job hunting.
Re specific needs of students - for me, it seems too much to ask to tailor cataloging instruction to individual student needs, especially when they conflict, as some would. If you do this, I'm in awe. I wish I had the time, and the knowledge of all of these different areas so that I *could* tailor if I had time.
Re 21st Century cataloger - again, I'm seeking general input about the many possible positions that catalogers are/could be employed in. I, for instance, will probably talk a bit about data curation topics, since I think there is a growing need for these types in large libraries, and I think many of these positions could be profitably filled by people who have a strong cataloging education.
If you will be in Seattle, maybe we should get together after the CAMMS panel to talk about how we convince other faculty of the importance of cataloging & info org in general. I'm in the fortunate position of being in a school with all sorts of info org people, so our faculty mostly get the importance of cataloging (and the ones who don't don't dare say so out loud :-)).
From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education & training [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Suzanne Stauffer
Sent: Monday, December 31, 2012 5:16 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [eduCAT] Seeking input for upcoming ALCTS CAMMS talk
I think the first question that must be answered is, "Which students are you talking about?" Are you referring to teaching future catalogers? Or future school librarians? Or information managers? Just as "one size" does not fit all when it comes to library patrons, so it does not when it comes to students.
What do you mean by "21st century cataloger?" Who are they? Where do they work? What do they work with? What is the demand for them? Are there students who are interested in this area? Is there a need to put the time and money into educating these people?
It's important to remember that most LIS schools no longer require cataloging. It is now seen as a specialization rather than a core skill in most programs.
LSU in general is becoming more and more vocationally oriented. The Board of Supervisors and the administration are focused on graduation rate and on placement. Our students always have been more concerned about getting a job than about learning what they see as esoterica.
We do require either cataloging or indexing of all of our students so, in this situation, my attitude is that only those who are going to be catalogers need to understand the theory behind the practice. They are the ones who will be applying that theory, and the ones who will be using it in the future to modify cataloging practice.
They are also the only ones who are the least bit interested, and are usually the only ones with the background to understand the theory. Frequently, they are coming in with a fair amount of copy cataloging practice, and want to know why they've been doing what they've been doing. And, no, we don't do a good job of educating them. We don't have the faculty or the lab support.
As I've noted before, the vast majority of our students are planning on public service careers. They are coming from English and psychology and education. Their interest in cataloging, such as it is, is in how it impacts their jobs in reference and collection development.
They need to know how materials are organized and why (that's not theory; it's explanation), but creating metadata? Ontology? Semantic web? No one would register for the course. Dr. Wu offered a course in . . . something along those lines a few years ago, but had maybe one student.
Of course, it's a Catch 22. We don't offer much beyond basic cataloging, so we don't get the students who want anything beyond basic cataloging.
Between ourselves, I am constantly pushing for us to hire someone who works in this area so that we can expand our offerings, particularly as we are moving toward a doctoral degree. But the older members of the faculty simply do not understand that "cataloging" is no longer just about learning the DDC.
Maybe your talk will provide me with more ammunition to convince them. But I do know that the first question will be "How many students will we get who are going to do research in that area?"
Suzanne M. Stauffer, Ph.D.
School of Library and Information Science Louisiana State University
277 Coates Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
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Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
--T.S. Eliot, "Choruses from The Rock"