Conversations with Catalogers in the 21st Century

By Elaine R. Sanchez | Go to book overview

16    BLOGS AND THEIR PLACE IN THE
CONTINUING EDUCATION OF
CATALOGERS

Jennifer Marie Eustis

The cataloging profession is rapidly evolving. These changes require catalogers not only to be aware of new trends, but also to understand how these new trends affect their jobs. This is a difficult task because catalogers need to have a comprehensive yet flexible set of skills and a broad knowledge base. Most catalogers would agree that courses in cataloging did not fully prepare them for these changes, or for the range of proficiencies and knowledge asked of them. Such skills and knowledge tend to be cultivated in the workplace. As a result, many catalogers receive some on-the-job training.1 More to the point, most, if not all, require and want to continue their cataloging education. Common solutions are workshops, conferences, webinars, or online courses. However, another way to do this exists, and has been mainly overlooked until recently: that is, blogs and blogging. In this essay, I will discuss how blogs can help catalogers learn about their profession, new ideas, and technologies, and can allow them to participate in a professional and supportive social network. Accordingly, blogs can help catalogers keep their skill set up to date, flexible, and wide ranging.

Library programs typically offer at least one cataloging course that introduces students to the basics of organizing information. Of course, over a period of fourteen or so weeks, it is difficult to broach the subject of organizing information and cataloging. The result is that much of the history of cataloging and how information has been organized are left out of syllabi. In addition, the full spectrum of current and national standards and rules are not fully treated. Even advanced courses in cataloging and information organization are limited by time constraints and the sheer wealth of information about the topic. Inevitably, finer details as well as how cataloging fits into such things as integrated library systems

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