Guest post: Rachel Care, Metadata Librarian
We’re delighted to host this inspiring guest post from Rachel Care. We’d love to hear your ideas, suggestions, and thoughts on this in comments below!
High Visibility Cataloguing: Join a Committee!
Rachel Care, Metadata Librarian, University of Warwick
The cataloguing department at the University of Warwick – aka Data Services – wasn’t feeling very visible. At the beginning of this year all Library teams were asked to present a review of the Library structure, and how they felt they were engaging with other teams. However, not many teams referred to Data Services in their presentations, and when we were mentioned, it was to suggest that another department would like to move into our offices! And then, all our stationery suddenly disappeared – it was believed we no longer had any need for it. An emergency meeting was called. It was time to take action.
The team had various ideas as to how we could make ourselves more visible within the Library. It was suggested we could wander round the different floors occasionally. We decided to try and submit a piece of news to the weekly staff e-bulletin as often as we could. And we decided that we needed a member of the team on every committee in the Library.
My contribution was to join the Staff Liaison Group. A key committee within the Library, the group acts as an intermediary between staff and senior management, as well as a sounding board for ideas, comments and questions from Library staff. Joining the committee has presented some excellent opportunities to get Data Services known.
First of all, I helped with a project to create an online staff photo board. I presented at the all-staff open meeting, and then liaised with managers in the Library, in order to get all members of staff to write a sentence describing their job. This meant Library staff, particularly managers, became aware of me, and aware that I do more than just
Then, directly because of this work getting myself known, Data Services were one of a few teams asked to prepare a display board to be erected at the next staff open day. This is a really excellent opportunity for us to explain what we do, and how vital our work is to the running of the Library. We’re planning to have statistics showing just how many books and e-resources we catalogue every week; to display the differences we are going to have to deal with when we come to use RDA; to have a section showing a badly constructed record, and how that would affect a student’s ability to find a book on the catalogue; and to describe some of the complexities of the numerous classification schemes we use at Warwick.
Getting away from my everyday cataloguing once in a while, and throwing myself into wider library life, has helped my confidence, it’s made me feel much more a part of the library in which I work, and, I hope, has gone a little way towards getting Data Services more known and appreciated. I heartily recommend it!
Catch Rachel @metadatamonkey on Twitter!