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ALCTS Web Course: Fundamentals of Cataloging

Monday, February 13, 2017 - 12:15 pm to Friday, March 24, 2017 - 12:15 pm

ALCTS Web Course: Fundamentals of Cataloging

Session 1: February 13, 2017 - March 24, 2017

Six-week online course that is a basic primer for library cataloging concepts and practices.It covers:

  • principles underlying cataloging practice,

  • examples illustrating the principles in practice,

  • tools used in cataloging practice such as AACR2, RDA, Library of Congress Subject Headings, Library of Congress Classification, MARC, OCLC, BIBFRAME, and

  • processes used by catalogers in creating bibliographic records.

Fundamentals of Cataloging (FOC) begins with a discussion of how cataloging assists users in finding resources and of the value of standardization of practice. These foundations are then given practical grounding in the work of creating bibliographic descriptions, the process of subject analysis, and summarizing content utilizing classification. Standards such as MARC bibliographic and authority formats, Library of Congress Subject Headings and Library of Congress Classification are discussed. The shift in focus from format-based cataloging to entity-relationship model cataloging is taken from the FRBR foundation to the RDA practical application, with a final look at RDF triples and BIBFRAME. In all areas, the value of standards is illustrated and discussed. There is a heavy reliance on examples from actual practice throughout the course content.

Who Should Attend?

As a fundamentals course, FOC is tailored for librarians and library support staff new to cataloging, librarians and library support staff from other units who want to know more about cataloging, and experienced cataloging librarians and library support staff seeking continuing education and networking opportunities.

Cataloging librarians in countries other than the U.S. and library school students or graduates developing skills to help get a job or identify areas of interest in library work may also benefit from this course.

Course Level & Prerequisites

This is a fundamentals course with no prerequisites.

Course Syllabus


  • Vicki Sipe, Catalog Librarian, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

  • Teressa Keenan, Head of Bibliographic Management Services, University of Montana, Missoula

  • Debbie Benrubi, Technical Services Librarian, University of San Francisco

  • Bobby Bothmann, Metadata & Emerging Technologies Librarian, Minnesota State University, Mankato

  • Katharine Leigh, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Ball State University

  • Marcia H. Barrett, Head of Technical Services, University of California, Santa Cruz

  • Shannon Tennant, Coordinator of Library Collections, Elon University


$139 ALCTS Member and  $169 Non-member

How to Register

To register, complete theonline form orregister by mail.

Registration Deadline

Registration for each course is limited to 20 people. For courses that are not sold out, online and fax registration ends at 12 noon CDT on the Monday before the course begins. Mailed registration forms must be postmarked by two Mondays prior to the course start date.


For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration by calling 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email registration@ala.org.