Essentially, the question here is what are the needs of Subject Librarians in their collection management role?
- Accessibility – loan status, licence terms and conditions
- Availability – holdings information
- Relevance – Information evaluation tools – resource management systems such as Journal A-Z
Yesterday, a Subject Librarian wondered into the office and looked at me blankly whilst asking “are you in the bib team?” I replied quite politely considering the response that was actually going on in my head! 1. We are not a ‘bib team’ 2. I am head of the metadata team 3. how rude! She’s actually known for this type of thing so what the hell, I’ll let that one slide…….the point is, what can I do for her?
- make sure that key (access) information for resources is retrievable and relevant
- make sure that links (written into the bibs) are working
- make sure the SFX (A-Z) links point to the correct URL
- make sure that holdings information is correct and up to date – that includes quantity, where it is held, and also date thresholds
- make sure that terms and conditions are clearly visible and comply with licensing laws
- make sure that uploading of electronic Theses are timely and available quickly with attention to detail
- make sure that on deselection, the correct records are removed in a timely and efficient way to avoid misdirection
- make sure that exam papers released to the library are uploaded, comply with copyright, and are available in a timely way for resits
- work with records quality management to make sure data that appears via the public interface is consistent and accurate
This whole paragraph is an exercise in why we still need catalogers, or a resource description team. Of course I’m going to big that up: its my job. However, it is apparent that we do not do enough to promote what we do – our knowledge, not just skills, and also the general attitude of the cataloger; that of attention to detail, and having the end-user perspective. Ok ok guilty as charged. In the near future (before Christmas) I am going to make a determined effort to make sure that our Academic Support Team (Subject Librarians) are fully aware of we the metadata team (aka ‘the bib team’) can do for them. It will be a start anyway.