18 thoughts on “Cataloguers! We are changing….let’s tell everyone how and why

    • Hi Esther

      Can you provide us with any anecdotes or regale us with any tales of self promotion (unashamed or not!)? I’m writing a brief intro for the Gazette asking other cataloguers to share stories, but if you can give me an example that would be great :0))

    • Hi everyone

      Thanks for all the comments. If anyone has any suggestions to offer, please get in touch twitter@scarlettlibgirl, or via this blog. I am putting something together for Cilip CIG, and would like permission to use your comments anonymously. Cheers 🙂

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    • Hi Suzi

      Do you have any stories of self promotion to share please? I need to get started on collating some examples. I’m writing a brief outline of all of this for the Gazette, but hoping to get something into Cilip Update (more in depth) in the new year.

  3. At my institution, I am “in the back room” and out of the public eye. I wanted to change that, so I started a blog. It’s not that exciting yet. Mostly, I pick three titles that I cataloged that day, and post them with links to the catalog record and to the publisher’s description. (We don’t have an RSS feed in the catalog that would do something similar.) I explain my rationale here: http://mckillopcataloger.wordpress.com/about/.

    I recently wrote a post that was well-received by staff and administrators, which again explained something about my work and its impact: http://mckillopcataloger.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/thanks-for-the-goat/.

    I know my readership is mostly local. I barely get 10 visitors a day, and those are probably co-workers. But it’s just my small attempt to shout to the world, “Hey! Over here! There’s cataloging happening here, and it’s important and valuable!”

    (My most important reader is a particular administrator who does not value cataloging. She follows the blog, and thus it is my attempt to subtly show her, regularly, that what I am doing is valuable.)

    (Also posted at ThingBlogging.)

  4. First of all: Thank you!! I was beginning to feel a bit alone in my quest to figure out how catalogers could rebrand themselves and move from “Source of all Evil” to “Most Beloved Members of Library”.
    I am just completing my library degree and am hoping it gives me more negotiation power within my library because what I would like to do is make myself into an embedded cataloger (notice I even use catch phrases. That’s gotta count for something) – I want to shadow the floor staff, do what they do, have them show me what they need from the catalog on a day to day basis. I can then use that information to make the catalog better in some fashion (haven’t figured that part out quite yet) and once the floor staff trusts and adores me, hopefully I can introduce the idea to our other catalogers, as well.
    I’m hoping that by listening and observing, maybe I can use the information I find to show those who hate us how valuable we really are.

  5. I ordered some material that was about depression and suicide for the Behavioral Sciences Department and decided to attach links for the National and State suicide hotlines. I hope that those links will stay in our catalog to help people with suicidal thoughts.
    The cataloging staff is also entering summary and Table of Contents data to help add additional keywords for folks who prefer ‘Google searching’.
    I asked the Systems Librarian to fix our online catalog to direct people who wanted to do author and subject searches to the correct (and authority controlled) search tabs; I also asked him to add the word keyword to the other author and subject searches.
    Guessing that didn’t get me out of the backroom, but, possibly it will help others.

  6. Hi

    I’m a fellow cataloguer aka metadata dark arts magician aka taxonomy temperer. I’ve been involved in the mystic arts of cataloguing since I qualified(’99) and it has been the most intellectually stimulating part of being a librarian. I’ve recently moved jobs and have been given the title, Information Architecture Manager, that didn’t quite sit with me to begin with but the more I think about it it does make sense. Cataloguers are the architects of an information landscape within the traditional sense of a library catalogue and now must evolve these fine skills to encompass enterprise content management, data exchange and the navigation, structure and management of digital assets. A soupcon of communication skills and a a dash of openness to what the customer wants should see our profession flourish in the future. So don’t let new fangled job titles put you off, we do have the skills that are important, we only need to wow them with our potential!!

  7. Saying that “[we’re] changing” implies that there was something wrong with us in the first place.

    If we’re not out in the open, as it were, it’s largely because our work isn’t valued and our input isn’t solicited. *That* is what needs changing.

    What we need is good PR, really.

    • I think you’re right, there wasn’t necessarily anything wrong (except possibly a bit too much quiet, efficient, getting-on-with-things and not enough shouting-about-how-brilliant-and-useful-we-are).

      Good PR is precisely it. High visibility. It’s just how to achieve that.

  8. Hi again,

    sorry for the slight delay. I’m absolutely happy for you to quote from me – if it’s of any use. Here’s my shameless self-promotion:

    According to the job description my current post is of somewhat narrow remit, i.e. more traditional cat & class. But with previous experience in LMS I’ve extended my contribution to the organisation’s aims by becoming involved with IT (data conversions, new OPAC design, analysing faults if affecting bibliographic or authority records). Fortunately, my line manager let me!

    Especially with the new OPAC (which makes – sadly or luckily – poor bibliographic data and inconsistencies much more transparent) I think I’ve managed to convey to at least IT that we can only make use of all those marvellous new features if our data is good enough. I’ve got many ideas to improve these but being parttime I barely come round to it (e.g. writing a proper business case for some data “cleaning”.) Neither have I set up an internal wiki to further best practice (because I rarely see/speak to the other two colleagues who catalogue) but that’s high on my agenda.

    Something I’ve done to break out of the echo-chamber: Writing a guest blog post for “Voices for the library” about the need for cataloguers (http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/wordpress/?p=438).

    I know this is not an impressive record but small steps might help too.


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