Hyperlinks for Catalogers

tardis_by_homemadezombieIt’s flashback time!

This is a set of links I’ve gathered over the years that all relate to catalogers and cataloging. This list has shrunk over time, mostly because pages have succumb to web rot. But at the same time, many of the pages I used to link have been folded into other resources that are still linked. The web is often like the street addresses of an old city. Sometimes the streets change name, or the numbers shift, but if you look hard enough, the houses can still be found.

Document Collections and quick reference

General MARC cataloging resources

At this writing, MARC and AACR2 are still the primary cataloging formats being used by the English-speaking world, but their days are numbered.

Specific Library Collections

  • The Big Picture: Visual Browsing in Web and non-Web Databases
    A front end for a variety of Web and non-Web Internet accessible databases.
  • Gutenberg Project
    This is one of the largest collections of Internet text files available, and is arguably the best resource for public domain literature available. This project has been in operation since the early 1990’s, from one server or another.

Other useful resources

  • RDA Toolkit
    I won’t lie: I don’t like RDA. I understand the need to phase out AACR2 and MARC, and replace it with a more dynamic schema. I do not believe RDA is the best choice for this, because it doesn’t offer viable solutions or alternatives to the problems and shortcomings that the older schemes have. To be fair, though, it did deal with some major issues with authority control.
  • Bibframe
    This one, on the other hand, may be a better choice. Bibframe is more open to emerging linked data technologies, and is easier to customize or scale than RDA.
  • The Internet Scout
    The Scout is a periodic electronic publication that is useful for keeping informed of developments on the Internet. It is targeted toward librarians and information professionals.

This collection is out of date, and when time permits I will update it. If you know of a resource that I should look into, send me an email:

rjpugh at cyberbard dot net

…with the subject “cataloging link,” and I’ll investigate it. Thanks.

One thought on “Hyperlinks for Catalogers”

  1. I think part of the problem is with what catalogers have to do: pay attention to every little detail, making sure a comma isn’t put where a semicolon should be, talking in 213 fields, etc. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of flexibility in what needs to be done, aside from choosing the most appropriate subject headings. Some people are really, really good at paying attention to all those little details and rules. Unfortunately, many of those who are so good at all those details and rules often don’t seem to be so good at handling people in all their varieties and complexities. (I’m speaking from personal experience, as well as stereotypes. Maybe I’ve just seen too many of the stereotypes in the people I’ve worked with?) And maybe, opinion of catalogers is mostly based on how awful the cataloging class was in library school. I took the required introductory class (that was really more about organization of information, not just AACR rules), but then was able to skip the beginning cataloging class and instead take an indexing class. Watching people coming out of the cataloging class was painful enough, I didn’t want to put myself through it. But I don’t think that should prevent someone from moving from one area of the library to another, if they are so inclined. I have met a few catalogers that do just fine at the reference desk. If you wanted to get out of cataloging and into other areas, why not emphasize all the people skills, leadership opportunities, etc? Cover letters could emphasize coordination efforts and other people skills, or whatever is relevant to the job being applied for. I know that I would not automatically toss out an application for a reference position (if I had one to offer), just because the candidate’s experience was primarily in cataloging. At least, not until I met the person!

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