Monthly Archives: March 2009

Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records

Here’s some reading for those of you following OCLC’s continued efforts regarding their Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records.

OLAC’s Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC) has issued a statement regarding OCLC’s proposed new policy for WorldCat Records.  This statement has been reviewed by the membership and endorsed.  Their position will now be forwarded to the Review Board on Principles of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship and the OCLC Record Use Group.


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Filed under Access Issues, future of cataloguing

Libraries to start lending money

This isn’t related to cataloguing, but it’s nice to post something lighthearted every so often.

NewsBiscuit  posted the story Libraries to start lending money.  It begins with:

In its latest bid to kick-start the nation’s ailing economy, the government has announced that public libraries will extend their current range of services to include the lending of money. From today, customers borrowing books will also be able to take out financial loans for a period of three weeks, though it may be possible to renew the terms of these agreements provided no other customer is waiting to borrow the cash. More…

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Filed under Our Profession

Library Internships – take advantage of them

With the economy continually crumbling, many young professionals (and not so young) are wondering about their future.  Will their be enough jobs available for them?  How can they compete in a tough market without experience?

I’m a big believer in taking advantage of opportunities that are presented to you.  My mom had some great strategies for getting noticed by potential employers.  I remember one time, she was very interested in a position that she wasn’t educated for, but knew she could learn.  She offered to work, for free, for two weeks.  If the employers liked her, she was hired, if not, the employers had two free weeks of labour, and my mom had learned the skills she was lacking prior to the experience.  She got the job.

This taught me that even free opportunities – volunteering or internships – really pay off if you can make them work for you.  If you are willing to put in the effort, you make connections and learn skills that are otherwise only available to those who already work in the field. 

Back in 2006, Library Journal published the article Internships are the Appetizers of the Library World, so Nibble, Nibble, Nibble…  The offers offer some key advice as to who should participate in interns and how to get the most out of your experience.

There are some great internship opportunities available, if you’re interested.  Check out your local libraries, universities, art galleries, historical societies and museums.  And, don’t forget to check out library association websites or contact local professionals. 

Also, I’ve listed 2 popular internship opportunities:

Presidential Libraries Internship Opportunities

Internships at NPR


Filed under Our Profession

Flash-Mob Cataloging

There’s a new post on The LibraryThing Blog that caught my attention – Flash-Mob Cataloging.  What is Flash-Mob Cataloging?  According to LibraryThing, it’s “when a horde of  LibraryThing members descend on some small library with laptops and CueCat barcode scanners, catalog their books in LibraryThing, eat some pizza, talk some talk and leave them with a gleaming new LibraryThing catalog.”

Has anyone else heard of this concept?  What do you think?  

While I wholeheartedly support social catalogs and user-generated tagging, review writing, reading suggestions/recommendations and so on, I hesitate at the idea of good-intentioned lay people (albeit computer savvy, book-loving lay people) descending upon a library or knowledge institution to catalog their collection.

Who decides a “good” record from a “bad” one?  What about authorities and the proper use of tags?  While many of these records are taken from libraries (even the Library of Congress), there is also an element of professional judgment involved in choosing a record.

While there is research available to prove that when a large number of tags are created, uniformity and patterns in tags do appear, that does not mean that rules for use of the tags are also created.  How we apply subject headings and access points are part of our expertise. If records are pulled in from multiple sources, subject headings and access points will be far from uniform. Will a project be undertaken to clean-up the bibliographic and authority records?

The emergence of discovery tools also brings in an interesting problem.  These smaller institutions will run into difficulties when attempting to overlay their catalogs with discovery platform tools.  These tools rely on properly cataloged records to retrieve information.  The platform is only as good as the record.  If there are spelling errors or lack of uniformity in subject headings and descriptive information (think multilingual items!), the discovery tool will be less than successful.  And, discovery tools are known for exposing your bad records.We are all well-acquainted with the bare bones records of our past that still creep up in our catalogs today

One thing I absolutely agree with in the Flash-Mob Cataloging posts – Cataloging is FUN!! Yes, it really is. 







Filed under future of cataloguing, Social catalogue, The Cataloguer, The Library Catalogue