Session Description

How is the field of cataloging being reframed to keep up with 21st century trends focusing on metadata? Using the dataset for an in-process journal article, the interactions between the fields of metadata and cataloging are explored.


Metadata, hiring, reframing, cataloging


May 12th, 10:15 AM May 12th, 11:15 AM

The Emergence of the Metadata Cataloger: Are Cataloging and Metadata Two Separate Fields?

Williams Room

As a new Librarian straight out of my MSIS program, I am seeing a shift in the idea of what constitutes the position of “Cataloging Librarian.” As a student worker at UT Austin while in library school, and in my current position as Cataloging Librarian at Binghamton University, I have seen in both places a rising discussion of how cataloging should evolve to keep up with the reframing and rebranding that is taking place throughout all aspects of libraries and librarianship. A common answer that seems to be rising is that cataloging is and needs to continue its reframing to include the newer, broader field of metadata. So, we see cataloging practices shifting to include metadata projects such as digitization. The presentation I am proposing would discuss this reframing of cataloging as a merger between the traditional idea of cataloging and the new area of “metadata.” I would like to use the research I have been conducting with a partner for a journal article as the starting point for my presentation.

I have recently begun, with a partner, research for an article in which we wanted to explore how difficult it was for college and university affiliated academic libraries to fill advertised cataloging positions. We gathered data on such advertised positions from the years 2014-2016, so we have two years worth of advertisements. Initially we included in our dataset only advertisements that described positions that involved cataloging at least 50% of the time. We tried to create a sizeable dataset from advertisements that included “cataloging” specifically in the title as well. However, in compiling this list and looking at the job descriptions we realized we would not have a large enough dataset for our article unless we included jobs that referenced not only cataloging, but also metadata duties in at least equal measure. Many advertised positions required cataloging and metadata components, leading to the topic of my proposed presentation. I would like to present on how, to keep up with 21st century trends, the field of cataloging is merging with and being folded into the new field of metadata, and how this is causing cataloging jobs to be reframed as well.


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