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Managing cataloging has a place in LIS curricula, but I do not think it 
is in the introductory cataloging/organization of information course. 
Not all students will be managing cataloging operations, but they 
should have a fundamental knowledge of how information is organized, 
both generally and in libraries specifically. While some aspects of 
production-line cataloging inevitably come up in any discussion of 
cataloging, this topic has more to do with management theory than 
cataloging theory. I like the idea of treating it fully in a management 
course, preferably one focused on technical and access services.

James Maccaferri
Clarion University of Pennsylvania




Cheryl Boettcher Tarsala wrote:


>Diane--
>    I tell my students that cataloging is like shop class where they 
>are making a beautiful paper towel holder for their moms as a way to 
>learn how to safely use cataloging tools (without accidentally 
>sticking a MARC indicator in an eye), but that real life cataloging 
>today is more like an industrial process than the craft of previous 
>times.
>
>Beyond the things one learns by actually wielding the tools, do you 
>think that the industrial aspects of cataloging should have a more 
>prominent place in the standard cataloging course? They are certainly 
>less amenable to workshop learning and more in the 
>managerial/theoretical mode that has been proposed as the proper 
>level for master's courses.
>
>Does anyone think that someone like Arthus Marx would have come out 
>of the one cataloging course less overwhelmed if there were more 
>emphasis on catalog management or database-level decision-making? Or 
>is that the province of an IR or DL or web design course and 
>cataloging shouldn't touch it?
>
>(Note that I am asking this question fully aware of Arlene Taylor's 
>comments about the overstuffed cataloging course. I have no idea what 
>could be jettisoned to make any new aspect of cataloging fit.)
>
>Cheryl
>
>
>
>Diane Hillman wrote:
>
>>
>>I think the other important reason for this kind of shift is that 
>>increasingly cataloging is not being done by professional 
>>librarians, but by staff trained in the mechanics, not the theory. 
>>The materials developed by the PCC and others are not necessarily 
>>designed just for librarians and don't generally rely on a good 
>>theoretical background to be useful--more a "rules and tools" 
>>approach.
>>
>>What I see happening is that even well-trained and experienced 
>>cataloging professionals are doing less cataloging, and more 
>>training, reviewing and management of increasingly complex 
>>cataloging operations, where "handmade" cataloging must play well 
>>with "industrial" cataloging from vendors and others. The people 
>>with the understanding of I and retrieval gradually seem to get 
>>involved in project planning, web design, and other activities for 
>>which cataloging training is amazingly useful, but it cuts into the 
>>portion of their time when they're actually cataloging.
>>
>>
>>*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
>
>
>-- 
>Cheryl Boettcher Tarsala
>Adjunct Assistant Professor
>LEEP Program, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
>University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
>
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>
>The views expressed here are my own and not those of UIUC or GSLIS.
>