I'm proud to work closely with three talented and creative instructors at
GSLIS, Bobby Bothmann, Dennis Quinn, and K.R. Roberto in providing this
part of the curriculum at the U of IL. I polled them, and these are their
1) What topics *you* think ought to be covered in a contemporary
The basics of metadata: what they are and how they work. The whole point
of RDA is to allow us to use metadata from various sources and merge them
together without the need to exhaustively cite the source or to amend the
display. Also how the metadata work in a typical ILS and how serves the
purpose and theory of descriptive cataloging.
The basics of linked data. It still feels too early to know or see how
linked data will function in the cataloging universe, but incorportating
this into cataloging seems essential to me. As I don't even know how we
will be using it yet I'm not entirely certain how to introduce it and make
the topic sync--so any ideas are very welcome here!
Fundamentals of classification. Our key-word/Google environment laxness
will get the better of us; my guess is when linked data comes into its own.
Those who don't classify will find themselves kicking their proverbial
backsides. Emphasis on topical subject analysis vs. genre analysis and why
we want to be specific and direct is still exceedingly important.
Ethics. To me this doesn't need more explanation, but so often I hear why
do we do this work when no one will use it; or we don't need to include
this information in a catalog record for some time saving reason. There is
certainly overkill in some cataloging, but understanding the ethics of
cataloging and subject analysis is critical to information literarcy and
good librarianship. Also important here is a survey of classification bias
and the prevalence of ethnocentrism within our KOSs.
Dissolution of the boundary between "cataloging" and "metadata".
Discussion of the future of (post-MARC) bibliographic frameworks, at a
minimum, discuss the current developments and their implications for
potential future practices.
2) What competencies you think are core (I will probably refer to the
ALA Core Competences and also - maybe -the ALCTS competencies, although I'm
not sure how up to date these are);
Section 3 of ALA Core covers it well, in broad strokes (with sections 2 and
4 to round it out).
Stress the importance of conceptual modeling and critical/analytical
thinking; we cannot properly organize what we do not clearly understand.
3) New courses (within the last 5 years or so) at your schools/in your
programs that contribute to educating a 21st century cataloger. I'd also
like to give a list of these from varying programs to the audience.
Well – not new, but we recently changed the title of our Cataloging and
Classification I and II courses to reflect the changing content to:
Introduction to Bibliographic
Metadata and Advanced Bibliographic Metadata.
Metadata in Theory and Practice (new name)
Rare Book Cataloging
Cataloging for School Libraries
Cataloging of Non-print materials
We have two seminars that are taught irregularly:
Subject Access Systems
Knowledge Organization Systems
Wish I could hear this talk and join you all for conversation afterward!!
Kathryn La Barre
President ISKO C/US
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign