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1 The Brick Wall: Recruiting People to a Career in Cataloging ALCTS/CCS/CETRC Preconference Catholic University, June 22, 2007 Janet Swan Hill Associate.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Brick Wall: Recruiting People to a Career in Cataloging ALCTS/CCS/CETRC Preconference Catholic University, June 22, 2007 Janet Swan Hill Associate."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Brick Wall: Recruiting People to a Career in Cataloging ALCTS/CCS/CETRC Preconference Catholic University, June 22, 2007 Janet Swan Hill Associate Director for Technical Services University of Colorado Libraries, Boulder

2 2 WHY IS IT HARD TO GET PEOPLE INTO CATALOGING? We are invisible In the common view, librarianship = reference The disciplines that people come from may not be the richest sources of prospective catalogers Career guidance is off target Women have more career choices than in the past

3 3 WHY IS IT HARD TO GET PEOPLE INTO CATALOGING? IN LIBRARY SCHOOL PROGRAMS The cataloging-related curriculum is limited Cataloging is not a requirement at many programs Coursework may not include actual cataloging Many faculty convey an inaccurate message about cataloging Cataloging faculty are in the minority

4 4 WHY IS IT HARD TO GET PEOPLE INTO CATALOGING? The impact of automation is overestimated The jobs sound dull The jobs sound old fashioned

5 5 WHAT CAN WE DO? We are invisible; In the common view, librarianship = reference Cultural issues are difficult to address Our recruitment energies may better engaged elsewhere

6 6 WHAT CAN WE DO? The disciplines that people come from may not be the best for prospective catalogers Move from passive to proactive recruitment Target undergraduates and graduate students in their major departments Target teaching faculty in their own departments Provide a recruitment kit tailored for these efforts Develop a recruitment pool and program Involve LIS faculty on their own campuses

7 7 WHAT CAN WE DO? Career guidance is off-target Identify common career guidance instruments Ascertain if cataloging and the characteristics of catalogers are part of the instruments Need the support and backing of an association Women have more career choices Not a “problem” per se Our recruitment energies are better engaged elsewhere.

8 8 WHAT CAN WE DO? The cataloging-related curriculum is limited Cataloging is not a requirement in many programs Cooperatively develop basic cataloging competencies that all new librarians, and all new cataloging librarians should have Require cataloging of all LIS students Pay attention to the accreditation standards revision process

9 9 WHAT CAN WE DO? Coursework may not include cataloging Cataloging is difficult to imagine: It must be experienced Cataloging courses must include actual practice Practitioners can assist as guests Host internships and practica CETRC/ALCTS could provide guidelines Paraprofessional, student, and volunteer work experience is in effect a practicum

10 10 WHAT CAN WE DO? Cataloging faculty are in the minority Full time faculty control the curriculum and direction of the program, and serve as advisors Find a way for adjunct faculty to have a substantive voice in the faculty when it comes to cataloging Increasing numbers of qualified cataloging specialists is beyond the scope of this presentation, but is a concern

11 11 WHAT CAN WE DO? Many faculty convey an inaccurate message about cataloging LIS faculty must help colleagues recognize the new realities of cataloging and the continued need for catalogers LIS faculty must help colleagues understand the impact of dismissive comment LIS faculty of all specializations can be part of the recruitment/guidance effort

12 12 WHAT CAN WE DO? The impact of automation is overestimated Need a clear understanding of actual impact Need a clear, realistic, and non-defensive message

13 13 WHAT CAN WE DO? The jobs sound dull and old-fashioned; They may BE dull Describe the entire job in ads and recruiting material Use up-to-date and accessible language Examine and modify jobs to provide variety, interest, responsibility, future

14 14 ABOUT THE BRICK WALL We can accept it as an immovable boundary We can beat our heads against it We can dismantle it brick by brick We can re-use the bricks to build a path


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