Hello fellow tech services colleagues,
I believe that it is important for each of us to be active and involved in our own institutions, departments, centers, and so on. At UCLA we are about 110 librarians
total, most of whom fill “public service” and user engagement roles, and many of whom are deeply involved in digitization, digital library work, and special collections archival work. When there is an opportunity for me to attend a user engagement forum or
workshop, or some open library committee, I go there to be an advocate for cataloging. I speak up about aspects of the discussion that center on access and discovery of library resources, whether it be in metadata being input into the digital library, or
a website or a Research Guide. I speak to the importance of name authority work, access points and controlled vocabularies such as subject headings (or facets or strings), which can collocate citations in various ways. I “remind” my colleagues of the importance
of metadata in many forms by offering specific examples or recommendations.
Within the last couple of years, the UCLA Library formed the Data Science Center, which formerly had been the UCLA Institute for Social Science Research; that group has curated social science datasets for decades, storing them in Harvard Dataverse (a data repository). Soon we will have our own instance of Dataverse and will hire a geospatial data science librarian. The Dataverse metadata for geospatial datasets is rudimentary at best, and with our own instance we have the ability to create our own metadata schema for datasets that we acquire. As the map cataloger here, I reached out and have begun collaborating with Data Science colleagues to begin identifying the metadata elements we need to capture. I rely on people who are GIS specialists, and I serve as a facilitator. This has been “on my own,” but I believe that my help can make a difference moving forward.
It is important to speak up in a helpful and practical way whenever possible. I realize that many catalogers do not have the freedom that I enjoy at UCLA, but every little bit helps. We contribute a different way of thinking about access and discovery, and can collaborate in ways large and small. Just keep on cataloging, and reach out to bring our expertise to bear on whatever discussions take place.
Social Sciences and Map Catalog Librarian
UCLA Library Cataloging & Metadata Center
2400 Life Sciences Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7230
Don’t misunderstand me. I love where I work, and, I have been doing this for a while. I’m not saying that I needed to be patted on the head all the time and have someone say, “good girl”, but gee whiz. I deliberately chose to do the Tech Services track when I went to CUA. We are the ones (I know I’m preaching to the choir here) who decide what the item is about and where to put it (that’s incredibly powerful)—I have often said that we’re like the Naval Seals—if we do our jobs right—you won’t see us coming or going—and that is the way it ought to be. Without us, the public side wouldn’t be able to do their jobs effectively—so, in my opinion, both sides of the house have to work together to make the whole library succeed.
Sherry, Your situation is all too familiar for many of us. Larry
Catalog Librarian & NACO Coordinator
Original Cataloging Team
Monographic Processing Services
Yale University Library
Well, at the moment, I am slowing taking classes to learn something new because I’m not respected or valued for what I bring to the table. Sad, sad situation.
Sherry E. F. Kish
Sr. Cataloging Librarian
Ralph J. Bunche Library
U.S. Department of State
2201 C. St., NW, Rm. 2438
Washington, D.C. 20520
(202) 647-1994 voice
(202) 647-0203 fax
[log in to unmask]" alt="http://departmentnotices.a.state.sbu/TinyMCEImage/ImageView/?path=ArrighettiJ(49)">
At about the same time I was told that Artificial Intelligence would soon replace all catalogers. We were just wasting our name and should find another job.
And back in 1983 when i started library school, i was told not to go into cataloging, since it was a dead profession and shortly there would be no professional catalogers.
Greta de Groat
Stanford University Libraries
On 4/16/2019 12:31 PM, Stephen Early wrote:
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 ...