Back in 1985, when I was preparing for library school, a librarian at my alma mater whom I interviewed for advice gave me the following: “if you want guaranteed employment once you get your MLS, study to be a cataloger, because no one wants to be a cataloger. Better yet, study to be a serials cataloger, because most catalogers don’t want to be serials catalogers.”
Stephen T. Early
Center for Research Libraries
6050 S. Kenwood
Chicago, IL 60637
CRL website: www.crl.edu
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of Ann Heinrichs
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 1:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Modified vendor records
At a conference I attended last year, tech services people discussed "succession planning" -- planning for, nurturing, and mentoring the next generation of catalogers. One issue was that fewer and fewer MLIS students want to be catalogers. (How could anyone resist the delicious field of cataloging?!) So there is both a dearth of the "pull" factor and a dearth of the "push" factor.
On Tue, Apr 16, 2019 at 1:38 PM John Gordon Marr <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
That’s typical, but how much of that attrition (in general) and the reduced number of catalogers (in general) has been due to budgetary constraints (themselves due to political decisions in funding bodies) and/or acceptance of vendor-provided catalog records that go unreviewed?
John G. Marr
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87010
**"I really like to know the reasons for what I do!"**
Opinions belong exclusively to the individuals expressing them, but sharing is permitted.
My institution had 14 catalog librarians (librarian and equivalent masters degrees), including those in supervisory roles. Today there are 6 by my count, including those in supervisory roles.
My question is, do library administrators value cataloging as much as they once did? I had a conversation with an administrator whose eyes glazed over as I discussed how I work on catalog records one-at-a-time, on ***one name authority or series authority record one-at-a-time*** and so one ... So every year in my self evaluation I connect at least a few of these NACO "one at at timers" to the Libraries' collections and to their future value (that is the future value of the records once library linked data migration takes place) ... the good news is that we have faculty status at my institution, which means that in addition to administrators, a peer review committee from across the Libraries read what I write, and I know that they value my work ...