We started reading Catalog It by Allison Kaplan (3rd Edition) in class. I have conveniently forgotten how tedious cataloging can be, let alone remembe all the letter acronyms – AACR, RDA, MARC). Like most things, some of the cataloging information makes a lot of sense, some not so much. I think this is one of the easiest books to understand. One thing that I keep coming back to is the size of the public school library. Obviously Ms. Kaplan has similar issues. I Love the fact that I have access to an OPAC and through Follett have most of my cataloging questions answered for me. Thank Goodness. Subject headings have always been interesting to work with. I find it even more so now that I am working with Grades k – 5. They have enough problems with figuring out keywords and then to actually find the correct subject heading. I had an interesting conversation with a 5th grader the other week regarding – why he would ever need to use an online catalog. Everything is at his fingertips on the internet and searching there is sooooo much easier than the catalog , let along getting the answer rather than finding a resource to find the answer. I have to admit – it is a good question. Then we started talking about how he know if the information was correct. I gave him an example and we worked our way through how it would work with the internet and in the online catalog. I don’t have him convinced quite yet but we are making headway. I also showed the students some cataloging and even though they are technologically savy, their eyes also began to glaze over with what they encountered. I will have to remember not to do that again, although I did get several kids interested in learning more. Maybe Dewey is not quite as obsolete as they think.
One other thing I noticed about the library catalog is that it has not always been filled out correctly or using the Follett Catalog information that the district pays for. Interesting. Somethings are the same in the corporate world as well as in the education world. We definitely need to be Consistent. Isn’t that was using the cataloging system is all about. Oh well, on we surge with learning more about the details in cataloging. Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone but I am really glad I did not become a cataloger.