Tuesday, February 26, 2008

025.3 Cataloging: A Necessary Evil

This is a post in progress. I am setting it up for a class presentation that I am making (along with my office colleague) to library school students this evening. I will add to it as needed today and tomorrow. It will be here for anyone who is interested. It is somewhat specific to the situation we are in...addresses our automation system, our procedures, and our preferences for things, but anyone is welcome to the information.

For several years now, once every semester, LP & I have visited with students about aspects of being a school librarian...my colleague speaks about collection development, ordering issues, and things related to using an automation system...

And I get to talk about cataloging! The word that strikes fear into (almost) any library-loving soul! I prefer to describe it as a talk about access and accountability of library materials.

Let me set a couple of ground rules before I go any further:

1. I am a librarian who happens to do an excess amount of cataloging as part of my current job...and for the most part find it entertaining/enjoyable/interesting...most days. I am not a cataloger. Those are two entirely different people!

2. This particular post is not a place for the debate for or against cataloging or too much about the impending changes. You can read about my feelings on these topics elsewhere and in the future.

Here's part of the gang. Aren't they nice looking-group of future school librarians?

Some blogs I follow to learn from and keep up: (a list in progress)
025.4 The Dewey Blog
Catalogablog (David Bigwood from right here in our area) one of his current posts speaks to our new "friend" FRBR)
Catalog Futures

MARC - MAchine Readable Cataloging
AACR2 - Anglo-American Cataloging Rules 2 not to be updated but replaced
FRBR - Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records
RDA - Resource Description & Access

Controlled vocabulary Google it and you get a bunch of stuff to read
Subjects vs Keywords...tags

LC subject headings (aka authorities) vs Sears subject headings
Our district uses LC subjects...many school library systems do.

Dewey Decimal System

Record vs Holding - this evening's conversation really didn't get around to this and I am sorry because it can a difficult concept to grasp.

Stand alone vs union catalog
A union catalog allows all patrons to see and use (with some boundaries) any materials found across the district. Requires that certain procedures and "rules" be followed...what is best for the organization as a whole.

Library of Congress Catalog
Marc Wizard (Marc Magician & Marc on Demand) subscription fee-based more info here
Library of Texas some free resources

Cataloging Overview PPT
How to use World Cat PPT
Cataloger's Corner

more to come...

Post-presentation thoughts
The group was full of great participants. They have not been in "library school" very long & I believe that all are still in the classroom as opposed to several times when the audience was made up of practicing librarians and teachers. Asked good questions...many for clarification of terms that they haven't used yet! Many expressed such enthusiasm towards their new adventure...it's hard not to catch their "fever." And that is why I love this opportunity...wonderful way to renew my own spirit!

Wish I had had 30 seconds to show this little Animoto TEASe about librarianship...at least some parts of it...collection development, cataloging, collaboration...FUN!


Library Girl said...

Whatever you call yourself (cataloger, librarian, awesomely cool library lady), you absolutely RULE at cataloging. Please remember that we (you!) got a 90 in my cataloging class in MY grad school. ;) I'm sure you have much wisdom to impart. Just make sure you tell them that not all librarians love to catalog. :)

Books, Computers & Puppets, Oh My! said...

My 2 baby librarians throughly enjoyed the presentations. They are daily gaining more and more respect for my job- they come back after each class saying "I didn't know you had to know that/ do that too!