A part of my internship requires that I read and write a descriptive abstract or annotation about articles and professional discourse on the subjects relating to my internship. Over the course of my internship, I will have read ten articles and written descriptive abstracts about them.
In the first article, the authors discuss the current state of cataloging by conducting a survey of 271 respondent who have cataloging responsibilities. The respondents were selected from American Libraries Association’s Technical Services Division. By studying the answer to this survey, the authors are able to identify and draw conclusions about the current functions and the changes in cataloging positions in the last ten years. Automation and expansion of nonconventional areas that were increasingly introduced in over the course of the catalogers tenure in the respective jobs. Also, catalogers are expected to have computing knowledge and subject expertise.
The literature review is an excellent resource for students to glean information about the history of cataloging and to trace citations that lead to other discussions regarding cataloging. The authors establish how over the past, the need for catalogers has not dwindled nor has the need for bibliographic and cataloging access.
The author’s findings and methodology allowed for the emergence and identification of the trends they found by analyzing the survey responses. One trend that was interesting was that 75 percent of the catalogers found a trend toward involving nonprofessionals in higher levels of cataloging. I think this is interesting because it has repercussions on the accuracy of the cataloging records and what that means for the education of library science students and young professionals. There is also evidence of outsourced cataloging which can be seen as a positive or a negative depending on the institution and department. Furthermore, the catalogers’ roles have moved to be more of an implementation and maintenance manager. They have also been serving a consulting role because the changing library environment.
I thought the open ended comments were illuminating. They prompted me to think about what this means for special collections. and rare book cataloging. This article provided me with an understanding of the roles of cataloging professionals and their responsibilities.
*Buttlar, Lois, and Rajinder Garcha. “Cataloging in Academic Libraries: their Evolving and Expanding Roles.” College & Research Libraries 59.4 (July 1998): 311-321.