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ALCTS endorses cataloging and metadata core competencies

At the 2017 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, the Board of Directors of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) endorsed the “Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians.” The Cataloging Competencies Task Force of the ALCTS Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group was commissioned to define a baseline of core competencies for LIS professionals in the cataloging and metadata field. The Task Force was chaired by Bruce J. Evans, assistant director for delivery services at Baylor University. 

The "Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians" defines competencies in broad terms to acknowledge the wide variety of work performed by cataloging and metadata professionals in libraries of all types and sizes, regardless of developments in standards or technologies. The document is useful to managers and supervisors in their hiring, assessment, and review decisions, to library and information science students in making informed educational and internship choices and to library and information science educators for curriculum and course development.

In creating the competencies, the Task Force acknowledges that metadata professionals are responsible for advancing diversity issues within the broader information community. Metadata creators must possess awareness of their own worldviews, and work at identifying where those views exclude other human experiences. Development of inclusive metadata standards or best practices is a competency that should be developed over the course of a career.

Metadata creation competencies for specialized library communities, such as serials, audiovisual, music and rare and special collections, are not covered in the document. However, specialized metadata communities are encouraged to build on these competencies.