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At Rutgers we take the view that for students who do not intend to be 
cataloguers, it is most important to understand the concepts behind 
organization of information (e.g., vocabulary control, human vs. 
automatic indexing,
exhaustivity and specificity, metadata standards, evaluation, ...). If 
students concentrate on learning the fine details of a classification 
system (understanding the fine details of a particular record format or 
punctuation), they tend not to obtain this higher level understanding. 
Qualified professionals  should appreciate the importance of such 
details and be able to learn specific classifcation schemes fairly quickly.

-Nina Wacholder
 Rutgers University SCILS

Jim Alberts wrote:

> I haven't read the article, but given that our only required 
> "information organization" course (in 1999) barely touched on the 
> basics of practical cataloging (one half of one semester devoted to 
> the theory behind descriptive cataloging with some training in ISBD) 
> and a mention of the authority file, someone could have easily 
> graduated and not known (or more likely, eagerly forgotten) what AACR 
> stood for, what the authority file was, what OCLC was, etc., etc.  We 
> had an "advanced cataloging" elective class which was very good, but 
> almost everyone who took it was already working as a cataloger.
>
> So yes, in my experience, it would be very easy to graduate library 
> school with no practical cataloging knowledge; most of my classmates 
> did just that (and an "I don't know and I don't wanna know" attitude 
> towards bibliographic control was very common).
>
> Best,
> Jim Alberts
> Asst. Music Librarian
> Cornell University
> Ithaca, NY
>
> At 01:23 AM 6/14/2006, you wrote:
>
>> Has anyone else read the "On My Mind" piece by Arthur Marx in this 
>> month's American Libraries?  In it, he speaks of his experience 
>> learning cataloging on the job where he is the only cataloger. He's 
>> certainly not the first MLS graduate to find himself unexpectedly 
>> hired as a cataloger, but it's kind of surprising he was hired in a 
>> world of job ads that demand "two years experience."
>>
>> Do you think his lack of cataloging knowledge coming out of a basic 
>> cataloging course is only to be expected? Are our across-the-board 
>> average outcomes this low so that a student passing a basic 
>> cataloging course doesn't really have the punctuation down, or 
>> understand an authority record?
>> -- 
>> Cheryl Boettcher Tarsala
>> Adjunct Assistant Professor
>> LEEP Program, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
>> University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
>>
>> [log in to unmask]
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>> The views expressed here are my own and not those of UIUC or GSLIS.
>