Beyond the Traditional: Competencies, Education, & Tasks for 21st Century Cataloging/Metadata Practice
The CORE Competencies & Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group is proud to host three presenters for its session during CORE Interest Group Week (July 26-30, 2021). The session will be held Friday, July 30 at 10am CST and will last for one hour. Each presentation will provide a unique viewpoint on developing cataloging competencies and providing cataloging education for current and future cataloging practitioners. Descriptions of each session are provided below.
Register for the CORE Competencies & Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group session on this page:
Title: Looking outward: Preparing for cataloging practice through interdisciplinary studies
Presenter: Jeanette Norris, Yale University
The metadata field relies on methods and knowledge from a variety of fields including the humanities, social sciences, design, and technology. However, much of the training and education in the field is firmly focused on dominant library-specific standards and software. Discussions of the breadth of expertise required for cataloging usually references familiarity with the content that needs to be cataloged. This presentation will discuss metadata practice as an interdisciplinary effort. It argues that metadata and cataloging librarians, along with their colleagues and administrators, benefit from broadening the possible qualifications that can be used to join the field. For example, when posting and hiring for a new position, focus on critical thinking and design, rather than on experience using specific standards and software that are highly specific to libraries. Focusing inward, primarily serves to lessen the initial learning curve of an entry-level employee but doesn’t take into consideration the future needs of the department, organization, or the cataloging and metadata field. Taking a more interdisciplinary approach can also reduce potential barriers to joining the field and could strengthen the cataloging and metadata librarianship by diversifying the field. Additionally, this shift in focus could open Library and Information Science programs to market and deliver courses that can be more attractive to students enrolled in other degree programs. The presentation draws on the presenter’s experience as a metadata practitioner, hiring manager, and adjunct instructor in an MSLIS program.
Title: Simulating the Future: A Consortial Catalog for Cataloging Students
Presenter: Dom Bortruex, American University
As cataloging standards and systems evolve, cataloging students are often left behind. They learn cataloging fundamentals, but are inexperienced with applying these core competencies to real-world environments of shared consortial catalogs. As more libraries move to shared Integrated Library Systems (ILS) and Library Service Platforms (LSP), employers expect applicants to be experienced in consortial cataloging, batch record adds, deletes, and maintenance, and collaborating with external partners.
Beyond internships which offer limited experience in these areas, how do we prepare students for shared consortial cataloging in complex library systems? How do we expand cataloging education to prepare students for tasks that go beyond traditional cataloging?
Based on the presenter’s experience as a technical services manager and MLIS educator, this presentation argues the need for an MLIS consortial catalog comprised of cataloging students from multiple universities which simulates cataloging and maintenance workflows for future technical services librarians. The presentation explores obstacles related to funding, support, and maintenance of a consortial catalog while seeking to inspire educators to collaborate to address these issues.
Title: Cataloger Tasks as an approach to teaching modern cataloging
Presenter: Shawne D Miksa, University of North Texas
Since the release of Resource Description and Access (RDA) many cataloging educators have incorporated into their teaching of descriptive and subject cataloging the ‘user tasks’ as presented in the four functionality models (FRBR, FRAD, FRSAD, and LRM) as a way to read, navigate, and use RDA. This talk addresses a particular set of behaviors from the cataloger’s point of view—the ‘cataloger’s tasks’ that form much of cataloging work.
There is a many-to-one relationships between cataloger and user tasks. By identifying these tasks catalogers can more easily learn how to navigate and use RDA. In RDA the primary cataloger tasks are recording, identifying, describing, and providing data. Furthermore, cataloger’s record attributes of things and relationships to or between things—leading to a secondary set of cataloger tasks of clarifying, associating and contextualizing.
This approach to cataloging education establishes a framework teaching how to organize information in a logical manner for any number of information retrieval systems and, in the case of library administrators, a way to clearly understand the importance of cataloging work to the library.
Karen Snow, Ph.D. (she/her)
Associate Professor & Ph.D. Program Director
School of Information Studies
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305
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