The question:

> > What should be the core competency of all LIS students in the area of
> > cataloging and metadata?

The response from Anaclare Evans:

> > > My goal is for my students to be someplace between level II and
> > > level III after completing the class.  The state of Michigan has a
> > > number of digital projects underway and is going to need a number of
> > > individuals who can participate in the planning and execution of
> > > these projects.

I agree - the more competent and higher LIS students can place the better.
The dilemma for us at Arizona has been one of implementation: 1) how many
courses will or should it take to reach level 3 and 2) since most of our
students will probably not take "information organization" beyond the
minimum required how much can be comfortably fitted into 1 standard (3
credit unit) graduate course?  What does that competency really look like?
In the report that Ingrid shared, am I right in assuming that it looks
like 3-4 courses would be sufficient to develop Level 3 expertise?

That's sort of what we've aimed for at University of Arizona.  We have a
required core in Organization of Information.  This is an introductory
course and is thus the first also in an electives track of 15 courses in
"Knowledge Organization" (Cataloging & Metadata Management, Controlled
Vocabularies, Theory of Classification).  DC and other metadata standards
are integrated from the start. There are some things in the intro course
that have helped motivated students (who may never take another cataloging
course) reach the higher level of competency. On the other hand, it does
appear to be information overload to students who are very new to LIS.

I use the Taylor Organization of Information as course text and supplement
it with exercises that are completed by students at one of two levels:
required and optional.  Students also use my Knowledge Structures Toolbox
(KS Toolbox which lists a bunch of metadata standards and other things
that are available via the WWW. Understanding and practice with certain
tools and standards is required and thus students must complete
assignments and final projects that are focused on digital resources and
DC or another specialized standard of their choice (EAD has been most
popular next to DC). Basic exercises in reading MARC, simple AACR
cataloging,authority control, creating concept maps, crosswalks, etc. are
all introduced at time of text reading but provided as optional exercises.
Students complete them at will. This may sound backwards but, with further
streamlining I am optimistic it may indeed continue to work well.

One problem that I see with this approach is that it seems to be geared to
highly motivated students (who've also had some exposure/work experience
in libraries or other information environments).  It doesn't appear to do
much to entice newcomers into the field and I need to work on this aspect.

I have had students who have only taken the 1 course above and been hired
as Digital Librarian (for cataloging) or Metadata Librarian/Coordinator.
In fact one of them commented that if she'd known she'd have paid better
attention to all exercises since everything covered is of value now on the
job.  This sort of anecdotal evidence has been encouragement to continue
the approach.

If anybody is interested I'll be happy to provide urls for syllabi, the
toolbox and class projects students have completed.  Let me know. Thanks.

Anita Coleman
Asst. Prof. SIRLS
Univesity of Arizona