CCQ Research and Opinion: Cataloging Blogs

In CCQ’s recent issue, there’s a brief article on Cataloging Blogs.

This article talks about the growth of cataloging blogs since 2007 and why listservs still appear to be more popular than blogs that deal with cataloging. While I am (personally) saddened to see my blog content described as “Laurel Taurelli includes links to resources that she uses frequently in cataloging” because I hope I offer more than that (including the correct spelling of my last name), I am happy to see this topic being explored. Why are there only a handful of active cataloging blogs and why does it appear that we prefer our traditional listervs over blogs?

I think we do need to ask ourselves why more of us aren’t writing about cataloging. If we are a growing profession, a profession that will become more important in the future, why is there a lack of writing being generated among us?

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9 Comments

Filed under future of cataloguing, Our Profession

9 responses to “CCQ Research and Opinion: Cataloging Blogs

  1. A cataloger's cataloger

    Because cataloging is incredibly arcane and tedious?

  2. abigail

    As a new cataloguer myself, I find your blog very informative and inspiring. And I certainly think your blog provides more than “links to resources that [you use] frequently in cataloging.” Thanks for the interesting discussions and issues you present.

    I personally prefer the cataloging blogs to the listservs and am thankful for so many interesting cataloguing blogs to keep up with. Keep up the good work!

  3. Laurel: I can’t respond directly to your questions–but I can be a little depressed about that article. It blithely quotes huge numbers for blogs, without ever mentioning my library-blog-related research (maybe because it’s only mentioned in, um, blogs and ejournals)…and without noting that, according to Technorati, only about 3% of that huge number of blogs is *active.* So if 10% of cataloging blogs ever created are active, that’s pretty good. (Also, suggesting that 2007 is early in blogging history…well, never mind: You didn’t write the article.) I would also suggest that lists (listserv is a trademark) still work…

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  5. Ivy

    >according to Technorati,

    Well there’s the problem right there–the author was citing “Technocrati” instead.

    Regardless of the content of the piece, I’m pretty appalled that such a reputable journal let something so sloppy and error-ridden go to press.

  6. Laurel Tarulli

    I, too, was disappointed by the errors. Walt has some very good points. I am a subscriber to AUTOCAT as well as Radcat and I don’t know what I’d do without them. They keep me informed about a lot that’s going on and I’ve made some great connections through the lists. They often provide “breaking” news, before they ever reach our blogs. So yes, lists definitely still work.

    I’m also a huge fan of RSS feeds (for my favourite professional blogs) and planet cataloging, which provides a significant source of information.

    Don’t feel bad that they forgot you Walt. We know the contributions you make and have heard about you! I don’t know if it’s worse being left out, or having your name spelled incorrectly AND your blog described incorrectly. [Sigh].

    What I think needs to be explored (maybe someone wants to write an article?) is the reason we still use lists and if the blogs that are active contribute to our field. I don’t think the amount of blogs should be a concern, it should be the quality of information found in those blogs on an ongoing basis.

    Abigail – thank you for your comments! As a blogger, it’s nice to know that the information and content I’m adding is interesting or helpful!

  7. I couldn’t agree more with the comments above about the errors in this article. How could something like this get published? The article was useful to me mainly for its list of catalog sites, so I printed it out and saved it for that.

    I enjoy this blog and actually don’t have time to read that many more. I’ve always been of the “quality over quantity” opinion any day, so it doesn’t bother me one bit that there aren’t more cataloging blogs. I think that we will never see a huge number of blogs addressing specific issues the way lists do, because the material simply isn’t that interesting, even to catalogers. I get the AUTOCAT list in non-digest form, so that I can delete what I don’t need and archive the rest, whether read or unread. I don’t really have time to think about every cataloging problem someone else has, but I do find the news and learning opportunities helpful. The best blogs (and I’d put Jessamyn West’s at the top of the list) combine librarianship with interesting personal anecdotes. A discussion of cataloging issues doesn’t preclude adding in some personal information, but I think it is a little tougher to do.

    Disclaimer: I am not an employed cataloger, and I have a LOT to learn, so take the above for what it’s worth.

  8. Christine Schwartz

    It seems to me that both blogs and discussion lists have their place in our profession.

    As an aside, I’d like to share why I started blogging back in April 2007. The blog grew out of an ongoing conversation that I’d been having with one of my colleague, a library technologist and scholar, about the cataloging reports that came out over several years: the UC report, the Indiana University white paper, the Calhoun report, etc. This same colleague told me he was reading library blogs and I’ll admit at first I was very skeptical. But at one point in 2007 there was an AUTOCAT discussion going on as to whether or not the discussion list should be open on the Web. By that time I realized that the future of cataloging debate was already being discussed on the Web and there were very few catalogers blogging about it. (Later that year the AUTOCAT list did become an open list.)

    Almost three years later, I think the conversation about cataloging and metadata has only gotten more interesting and there are more catalogers and metadata librarians blogging, so more interesting voices to listen to.

  9. Amanda

    Hey, don’t feel bad, the author , whoever it was, spelled a LOT of things incorrectly.

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