The “Task Force on Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging” is a subcommittee of the ALCTS Committee on Education, Training and Recruitment for Cataloging (ALCTS/CETRC). The chair of the Task Force is Sylvia Hall-Ellis, former head of ALCTS/CETRC. The mission of the Task Force is to assess the current state of education and employment in cataloging, recommending new programs that seek to promote continuing education and training in the profession. The Task Force serves as an umbrella organization for three new initiatives: 1) A Cataloging Education Fellows Program; 2) A program to connect cataloging practitioners and employers with library educators; and 3) A clearinghouse that links to available resources and career opportunities in cataloging.
Cataloging Education Fellows Program
Past studies on cataloging education have shown that fewer than half of all accredited library programs in North America require students to take a core course in cataloging, and also suggest that there is a heavy reliance on adjunct rather than full-time faculty, because full-time instructors are scarce. The scarcity of instructors to teach cataloging is a national issue that can be addressed through the creation of a Cataloging Education Fellows Program, whose purpose would be twofold: 1) to recruit, train and educate the next generation of faculty members to teach cataloging; and 2) to provide continuing education for those who are already cataloging instructors.
The program will be structured to:
- Support the creation of a doctoral degree in cataloging education
- Seek grants and scholarships that assist prospective educators to pursue a degree in library science, with a focus on catalogin
- Seek opportunities to provide internships, teaching and practical work experiences for prospective educators
- Connect prospective educators with mentors who provide training in classroom instruction, use of instructional strategies to embed technology in class curricula, evaluation of classroom learning, and measurement in achievement of learning objectives
- Provide educational opportunities (i.e. seminars, workshops) to expand core curricula for instructors already teaching cataloging
Connecting Cataloging Practitioners and Employers with Library Educators
Much benefit can come from linking library educations with practitioners who form the community of catalogers working in research, academic and public libraries. Likewise, employers need to build ongoing partnerships with educators to strengthen the relationship between libraries and library schools. These types of partnerships ensure continuity between instruction and practice, and improve libraries’ ability to recruit a new and experienced cadre of catalogers into the field.
This initiative will serve to:
- Build upon the existing ALCTS/CETRC Mentoring Program, connecting new catalogers with prospective employers and library educators
- Link cataloging practitioners and employers with library educators, to establish a formal framework cataloging students can use to pursue internships and practicums
- Establish a lecture series featuring prominent educators, practitioners and employers, who discuss current trends and future developments in cataloging
Clearinghouse for Cataloging Resources
Information on the field of cataloging is dispersed throughout various websites and online catalogs, making it necessary to search myriad locations on the Internet to isolate important resources in cataloging. This clearinghouse will be modeled on InfoWorks Technology, a website designed for librarians to gather information on their specific profession. The URL for InfoWorks is: http://www.itcompany.com/inforetriever/cat_gen.htm.
The clearinghouse will serve as a:
- Portal for librarians to gather and locate Internet resources related to cataloging, including training courses, documentation, terminology and tools
- Link to various resources on the Internet where information can be found that is related to the profession of cataloging