Core Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group

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Purpose: Discusses the current state of education and employment in cataloging and explores the relationship of cataloging practitioners and employers with library educators.

This interest group is part of Core's Metadata and Collections Section.

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Register Now! Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging session, ALA CORE IG Week

  • 1.  Register Now! Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging session, ALA CORE IG Week

    Posted Feb 29, 2024 06:39 AM

    Please excuse cross-posting

    The CORE Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging is pleased to host three presentations during the ALA CORE IG Week 2024. The session is free to attend and open to the public.
    Date: March 7, 2024 (Thursday)
    Time: 4:00-5:00 pm (EST)/3:00-4:00 pm (CST)/1:00 pm-2: 00 pm (PST)
    Location: Online

    Using Core Competencies in course design and assessment
    Presenters: Juliya Borie, Cataloguing Librarian, University of Toronto Libraries; Elisa Sze, Metadata Librarian, University of Toronto Libraries

    Elisa Sze and Juliya Borie are practitioner-educators who co-teach a cataloguing course at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information (iSchool) as part of its ALA-accredited Master of Information (MI) program. The course is an LIS elective that attracts diverse students from multiple MI concentrations including LIS, archives and records management, information systems, and UX design. This talk begins with the instructors' rationale for exposing students to the ALA Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians and the ALA-CFLA-CILIP-endorsed Cataloguing Code of Ethics from Day 1 of their Winter 2023 course, and the lessons that have been applied to the Winter 2024 course. The panelists will discuss how the Core Competencies and Code of Ethics documents informed course syllabus development-for instance, ensuring that students learned about and interacted with at least one example from each "category" of standards presented in the Core Competencies: data content standard (RDA), data structure standard (MARC), data value encoding schemes (LCSH, LCC), and data exchange standards (MARC again, though we also briefly refer to RDF triples in the context of linked data). Students engaged with the standards through graded assessments (quizzes, assignments, take-home exam) as well as ungraded ones (in-class activities). To vary the learning opportunities, the instructors also referred students to professional development activities outside of the classroom setting, organizing an optional tour of the central library system's Metadata Services Department, inviting practitioners to give guest presentations, and encouraging students to attend the workshops offered by the iSchool that complement the course. With a growing interest in AI in the LIS field, the Winter 2024 course will also see students invited to attend a University of Toronto Libraries Cataloguing & Metadata Committee event on the potential for AI to support metadata and cataloguing; this event will introduce students to practitioners and managers, and allow students to observe the importance of developing strong "soft" skills to succeed in the LIS profession. Based on the popularity of last year's guest panel, we will continue to invite guests to the Winter 2024 course-this time with a focus on international committee work. We recognize that not all students in the course will become cataloguers or work with metadata, but we aim for them to come away with respect for all that goes into this type of specialization, including an appreciation for big picture thinking. The core competencies document provides a "bird's eye view" for students as they make their career decisions, while offering them a concrete checklist of skills to build over time. Anecdotally we know of students who have referred back to the document in their preparation for job applications and interviews.

    What you know and what you don't – new catalogers and metadata job seekers entering the current library workforce. The gap between the learning/training combo and on-the-job expectations.
    Presenter: Anita Kazmierczak-Hoffman, Head, Bibliographic Control Section, National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled

    The ongoing struggle is how to break into the library system as a beginner cataloger or metadata specialist. What do candidates need besides appropriate on-the-paper qualifications? This presentation will highlight the difference between job requirements and job expectations, and why is so hard for many to secure their first job in the library.

    Back to the Future: Cataloger Training Meets the Core Competencies
    Presenter: Tonya Dority, Interim Acquisitions and Metadata Librarian, Reese Library, Augusta University

    Librarians often have diverse educational backgrounds and experiences. While some remain loyal to a particular career path, others
    seek to learn new skills. In 2019, I accepted a cataloging staff position at Augusta University's Reese Library. Having received a library 
    science degree, I was familiar with MARC records, subject analysis, and classification; however, cataloging was not my area of expertise. 

    So how do we best prepare librarians who do not have an extensive cataloging background and staff who often assume these responsibilities?
    This presentation will explore cataloger training at Reese and the benefits of incorporating the Revised Core Competencies.

    Marina Morgan and Sofia Slutskaya, 

    IG Co-chairs



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    Sofia Slutskaya
    Head, Resource Description
    Emory University Library
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