About Me

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I hope you find the information that I post helpful and informative. Many of the links I am including on this blog are resources that I use frequently in my life as a cataloguer. Other links contain topics of interests, additional resources that some of you might find interesting, and links to websites that I enjoy in my spare time.

Formerly the Collection Access Librarian at Halifax Public Libraries, I am now teaching as a sessional instructor at the School of Information Management at Dalhousie University and focusing my energies on writing, guest speaking and consulting with libraries and vendors.  This blog is intended as a resource to information professionals to discuss the future of backroom library professionals, trends in social technology as they relate to readers’ services and the catalogue and topics on professional conduct and management issues. I am hopeful that some of you may take an interest in these topics and participate with comments so that we may share ideas.

Who am I?
Originally from a small town in Western New York, I now make my home in Nova Scotia with my husband Franco, daughter Amelia and our cat, Madison Alcott.

I received my Bachelor of Music with a minor in Art History from Ithaca College. I have performed professionally with the Southtowns Youth Orchestra, Double Visions Saxophone Quartet and Odyssey Saxophone Quartet. I have also had the priviledge of performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic. In past years, I have provided private music instruction on saxophone, clarinet and flute, and directed a semi-professional saxophone quartet.

In 2004, I received my Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta. In 2005, I received professional certification by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and, in 2009, I received the Esther J. Piercy award for contributions to the profession, including my subject authority work for Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

At this time, my interests are focussed on next generation catalogues as social places, rather than inventories. In particular, I am examining the impact social catalogues will have on Readers’ Advisory work and other core library services.

This link will take you to my publications page.

Professional Activities

Column Editor – RA Column of Reference & Readers’ Services Quarterly (RUSQ)

Board Member – Reference & Readers’ Services Quarterly (RUSQ)
NoveList Consultant

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
New Professional’s Special Interest Group
General member

Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science
Manuscript reviewer

Library of Congress Task Force on Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging

Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology (JASIST)
Manuscript reviewer and book reviewer

Atlantic Provinces Library Association (APLA)
Program Committee for the 2009 APLA Conference

American Indian Library Association
Subject Access and Classification Committee

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)
Book reviewer

International Association of Music Libraries (IAML)/Canadian Association of Music Libraries (CAML)
Book reviewer

Dalhousie University School of Information Management – Guest Speaker

Canadian Library Association 2010
Library Catalogues as Social Spaces: A Shift in the Perception of the Public Library Catalogue and Its Function in Libraries

Canadian Library Association 2009
Co-Presenter with Dr. Louise Spiteri, Associate Professor, Dalhousie
The Impact of Social Cataloguing on the Public Library Catalogue: Patrons, Social Tagging and the New Face of the Catalogue

Atlantic Provinces Library Association 2009
Co-Presenter with Dr. Louise Spiteri, Associate Professor, Dalhousie
The Impact of Social Cataloguing on the Public Library Catalogue: Patrons, Social Tagging and the New Face of the Catalogue

Atlantic Provinces Library Association 2009
RA in a Day

2010 Distinguished Alumni Award (SLIS at University of Alberta)

2010 OCLC/ALISE Research Grant Recipient

Esther J. Piercy Award 2009

Certification from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

27 responses to “About Me

  1. I am glad I found your blog – am starting a cataloguer position tomorrow at a local community college – I interviewed for a library assistant position, but in reality it’s “tech. services cataloguer” – I have a BA and MA in English (and then some – almost a PhD) – and taught English in the 1970’s. I’ve been an admin. assistant type, both miliary and civilian, since leaving the teaching profession. I am now 60!!! I know I have the skills to peform this job, but I’m going to need help – so if it’s okay with you, I may write and ask questions from time to time. I’m REALLY good at organizing and “finding things” – I’m the one people come to find out “this” about “that” and don’t know where to start. It’s like sleuthing. Anyway, your website/blog came right up on google when I type in “library catagloguer” – so … nice to “meet” you and I’ll be back.

  2. Laurel Tarulli

    Nice to meet you too! Welcome to the profession.

    I welcome any questions you have and look forward to sharing ideas with you. Also, please feel free to contribute and share your experiences on this blog.

  3. Jeff Beder

    I recently graduated from UW Milwaukee MLIS,
    I have a concentration in the Organization of Information and did a cataloging internship at Marquette,
    I found that I love cataloging,
    It is peaceful mostly solitary work,
    that allows for thought,creativity,
    and collegial intercourse,
    Hope I can land a job.

  4. Laurel Tarulli

    Hi Jeff,
    Welcome to the profession!

    I welcome your thoughts and ideas to this blog, as well as any questions you have regarding cataloguing or our profession in general.

  5. Sonny Dulfo


    I read you blog about cataloguing.

    I’m located in Salt Lake City, Utah. I’ve been a cataloger for many years at a Special library.

    But now, I am a Cataloging Manager for an Academic library.

    I have my MLIS from University of North Texas and a graduate academic certificate in Advanced Management in Libraries and Information Agencies. Great programs!

    I believe cataloguing is an on-going learning process. One can not learn it in a day, a semester or even a year.

    Cataloguing continues to amaze me as I do original cataloging for my university archives and special collections. It takes some intellectual analysis and skills to be a cataloger.

    Kudos to all catalogers!

    I appreciate your blog very much.

    Sonny Dulfo
    Salt Lake City, Utah.

  6. Hello, this is a great site. I am now (as of Aug. ’07) Manager of Library Technical Services for Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board in Peterborough, Ontario. Geographically this is a very large school board, but mid-size regarding student pop. (about 35,000), we have 95 schools. I manage the Learning Resources Centre, our Catalogue (presently Horizon, but we are going to RFP this fall for a new system), all databases, all contracts RE library, 12 staff in the LRC and 13 staff in schools.

    I am not a cataloguer by training though, so I am learning the cataloging world while becoming a manager at the same time. I started out as a Business Librarian at Regina Public Library, in Saskatchewan (2003-2007). I have an Honours BA in Communication Studies from University of Windsor and my MLIS is from University of Western Ontario. Between my BA and my MLIS I worked in the corporate world for Rogers Communications (first as a Regulatory Policy Analyst then as a Marketing Analyst).

    Presently in my LRC I have 4 Library Techicians (but 3 will be retiring in 2-3 years). With RDA coming and our new system (whatever that is) we have a lot of challenges in cataloging.

    I will be attending IFLA too and will also be attending the RDA preconference, will you? I will be there Aug. 7 – 15.

    I have one friend from McMaster University Library whom I went to school is going. I am 34. I went to Library school from 2001-02. I am really excited about this conference as I have been to many conferences but never been to an international conference (only Provincial, CLA and once to a PLA Symposium in San Jose (that was nice!).
    Maybe we will meet, glad I found this site!

    jason bird

  7. Laurel Tarulli

    Hi Jason,
    I’m so glad you enjoy this blog! It’s great to hear positive feedback.

    Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the RDA preconference – but will be at the conference (the 10 – 15th). I’ll be at all of the cataloguing sessions that I can fit in. I hope we’ll get a chance to meet.

    It sounds like you’re bringing a lot of great experience to the field. I hope you’ll share your thoughts and ideas on this blog.

  8. Bridget

    Hi Laurel,

    A great website!! I am new to the blogging world. I currently catalog for a public library but my hope is to work in an academic library. I graduated with a degree in history and got a job at a public library. I had no idea that cataloging would be my chosen profession!! It is like learning a whole new language. I have had on the job training as well as university courses.

    Thank you!

  9. Laurel Tarulli

    Hi Bridget,
    Thanks for posting. I’ve met a lot of people who “fell” into cataloguing but have ended up loving it.

  10. Saskia

    Hi Laurel,

    I just came across your blog via the ALA Direct newsletter. As a German librarian, I’m very much interested in the American „library world“ and since my main interest is cataloguing, I’m excited about your site!
    I have an MA in English and French and an MLIS from Humboldt University Berlin. After having worked in diverse positions in a public music library, an academic library and at the Goethe-Institut in London, I now live in Vienna and work in a retrospective cataloguing project and I know that cataloging is what I love most about being a librarian. As Sonny said, analytical skills are needed apart from pure knowledge of the cataloguing rules, and the other important thing is certainly experience.
    I look forward to exploring your blog, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and insights.


  11. ronke osuntokun

    Hi Laurel,

    Am glad i came across this site.I am a librarian by training and worked in he cataloguing department of am academic library for some years before i took a career break to raise my kids.I now want to get back into the profession and i have an interview as a cataloguer comingup soon so here i am browsing through cataloguing sites trying to brushup on ‘old’ skills so wish me luck!This site is great and i know that i would benefit from it immensely.Thanks.Ronke.

  12. Dorothy


    I really enjoy reading your blog! I’ve been lurking for a few weeks now and I thought I would say hello. I am a relatively new MIS graduate (Spring 2007). I focused on reference in school but I have since become interested in cataloging. Could you recommend any resources or projects for novice catalogers?



  13. Laurel Tarulli

    Hi Dorothy,
    Welcome to the profession! If you don’t mind me asking, what began your interest in cataloguing? I’ve listed some resources on my own blog – and I highly recommend Lynne LeGrow’s website http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/allegrow/index.htm. She’s a cataloguer who works with me and extremely knowledgeable. She’s basically created a clearinghouse of cataloguing resources. Also, LC is working on a clearinghouse for cataloguing resources that will be available in the future. I’ll be posting the link once it’s complete.

    As for projects, I’d like to hear what interests you and the library setting you work in. What do you really enjoy?

  14. Pingback: Social Library Catalogs – “No Longer an Inventory But a Community”…06.26.09 « The Proverbial Lone Wolf Librarian’s Weblog

  15. Lauren

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog. I am a current library student and taking Organization of Information. Everyone told me it was scary, but I love it! Keep up the good work.

  16. Lex Neziol


    I just thought that you might like to know your blog is mentioned in my cataloguing course! I’m studying to be a library technician at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

    This is a great site, I’m learning a lot from it. Thanks for creating a place where I can read about such a wide variety of library topics in an entertaining and comprehensive format.


  17. Laurel Tarulli

    Hi Lex,
    Welcome to the profession! Thanks for writing and letting me know this blog is mentioned in your cataloguing course.

    I hope you’re able to use this blog as a resource. Please feel free to participate on the topics discussed, or email me with any questions you have as you go through your program.


  18. Adetoun

    This website is great! I hope to keep in touch with you once in a while. I am Chief Cataloguer in Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan and have a research interest right now in cataloguing, conservation and preservation of indigenous knowledge materials, especially those in multilanguage formats. I hope you will keep this up.

  19. Adetoun

    This website is great! I hope to keep in touch with you once in a while. I am Chief Cataloguer in Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria and have a research interest right now in cataloguing, conservation and preservation of indigenous knowledge materials, especially those in multilanguage formats. I hope you will keep this up.

  20. Aaron

    Catching up on some very belated blog-reading, I feel compelled to say that I find your reflections spot on, and respect your viewpoints and your commitment to documenting them cogently. Our cataloging world often fails to maintain the kind of perspective that extends from information resource to end-user, and I am pleased to have spent some time this afternoon finding a strong and positive exception to that tendency. [I am also selfishly pleased to hear of another saxophonist-cataloger!]. Many thanks for your good work!

  21. Laurel Tarulli

    Hi Aaron,
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I invite you to add comments or join in any discussions that you feel strongly about regarding any topics I write on.

    You, too, are a saxophonist-cataloguer? I’m an alto player, what about you?

  22. Pingback: OCLC Research and ALISE: Recipients of 2010 Library and Information Science Research Grants Announced « ResourceShelf

  23. Rob

    Hi Laurel,
    I’ve recently embraced the fact that indeed it is cataloguing that I want to do and found your blog while searching for examples or discussions of employer testing for job candidates. Thank you for access to so many great resources and opinions.

  24. Laurel Tarulli

    Hey Rob,
    Good for you! Cataloguing is a rewarding and interesting career!

    Good luck on your endeavors and I hope to hear more from you in the future.

  25. Tricha Fraser

    Hi Laurel,

    I recently came across your blog because of an Assignment in my course, Descriptive and Access Cataloguing 2. I had to find an interesting Blog about Cataloging and review it. I definitely enjoy your posts and will certainly bookmark this site because I know it will be helpful in my courses.
    I am currently pursuing a Library and Information Technician Diploma (online) through Durham College and have discovered that my interest lies in cataloguing.
    Great job blogging!

  26. Laurel Tarulli

    Hi Tricha,
    Thanks for commenting! I’m glad you find my blog interesting and hope that it meets your expectations as you work your way through your diploma. If there are any topics you’d like to see discussed or questions on a certain subject, please let me know.

  27. Kalilur Rahman,

    I came to know your blog very recently and is informative. Thank you very much for the same. I would like to know the following:

    1. Nowadays library subscribes to many e-journals and e-books, but they are not part of the OPAC. Could you please inform the possibilities of harvesting and indexing the metadata of these e-resources by using any tools such as Public Knowledge Project (PKP) Opern Archive Harvester?
    2. Afterwards they have to be available for searching through OPAC.

    Kind regards

    H Kalilur Rahman
    Librarian, Muscat, Oman

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