Category Archives: Skills promotion stories

High Visibility Cataloguing at ALA Annual

Thanks to a conference bursary from the John Campbell Trust, HVCats (in the person of Céline Carty) is attending ALA Annual at Anaheim.

I have some HVCats goodies (very modest ones) and would love to meet any catalog(u)ers who are going to be at ALA. Do come and say hi if you see me at the conference. Feel free to get in touch with me via @HVCats on Twitter or come to the Networking Uncommons, where I’m planning to be from 12-1 on Monday (and possibly at other times too once I finalise my schedule). I’d love to hear about high visibility ideas, talk about our plans here at HVCats to do some new professional development projects as part of the cat23 idea and meet as many high visibility cataloguers as I can while I’m here. I’m the British, slightly jet lagged one if you want to look out for me!

Lego, Lego, everywhere, on the table on the chair …*

What do Lego, chocolate and a giant snakes and ladders board have in common? Well, they were all props used by members of the HVCats team to demonstrate to forty eager new professionals just how exciting cataloguing is as a career at CILIP’s New Professionals Day 2012. In this post Deborah Lee, Senior Cataloguer at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and Jennie-Claire Perry, Acquisitions & Metadata Librarian at the University of the Arts London, reflect on their workshops.

The workshop kicked off with a Lego classification activity led by Deborah Lee, who says: “we designed this activity to show some of the basics of faceted classification using a more kinaesthetic method, i.e. participants spent the activity handling lots of quasi-Lego bricks. In groups the attendees came up with possible facets (in the loosest sense of the word), considered hospitality issues and saw scattering first hand as they attempted to build a tower out of bricks scattered across their colour-based classification system. It was exciting to see some of the more creative ideas for possible facets: smell, taste and rarity were all suggested. The highlight of the activity was seeing the various groups race to build their towers as quickly as possible with the winning team those who finished the tower and shouted “Ranganathan” first. Chocolate (and hopefully a lifetime of always remembering Ranaganthan’s name and work) was a reward for the winners. The biggest challenge in co-leading the workshop was controlling the pesky quasi-Lego bricks which seem to get everywhere; I’m still finding pieces at the bottom of my bag one week on …”.

Lego towers

Some of the Lego towers created during the classification workshop

The workshop then moved on to an interactive session on the ups and downs of running a cataloguing department, led by Jennie-Claire Perry. Jennie says “The brief was to cover a topic related to cataloguing and classification in an interesting and preferably interactive way, rather than simply standing up and talking through a PowerPoint. After a few emails back and forth, Deborah and I decided that if it was interactive they wanted, it would be interactive they got, and came up with the idea of gamifying cataloguing management using a giant snakes and ladders board. There were some last minute issues to do with the number of delegates (roughly twice as many as I’d bargained for!) and whether the activity would scale up to accommodate so many participants, but the session went better than I could have hoped, with all worries about cataloguers being a bunch of introverts being dismissed once and for all!”

Cataloguing snakes & ladders

Playing cataloguing snakes & ladders at #CILIPNPID12. Photo by @usernametaken10.

Deborah and Jennie’s tips on running a workshop:

1. Think “activity”. Are there are ways to extend the “doing” part of your workshop from just talking/writing in groups to more of an “activity”? It adds an extra dimension to your workshop and people can often learn better when doing something involving touch or moving around.

2. Logistics. If organising a more practical activity, plan the logistics as though it were a military operation (e.g. how many people in a group?, how many bricks per table?, how should we arrange the room, how much time do we need to leave so participants can get to the back of the room for the second part of the workshop?). Remember to leave extra time for anything involving people physically moving around, people in groups being told to go somewhere have an annoying habit of moving much more slowly than a single person walking somewhere.

3. Testing. The Lego activity was trialled with some “volunteers” from Deborah’s library. Though it wasn’t exactly the same as the real-life activity this was invaluable to the success of the real-life workshop. Pilots can be particularly useful to see if you have left enough/too much time for the activities, to see any knots in your instructions and get general feedback on how you/the activity is being perceived.

4. Take a camera. The session will be over in a flash and you won’t remember all of it. It is great that we took some pictures so there are visual prompts that we can use to make improvements for next time we run a session.

*Or more precisely, in my handbag, on the carpet at CILIP, on the living room floor, under my desk at work, on my desk at work and probably down the back of the sofa (if I was brave enough to look…)

Conversations with Cataloguers in Wales: organising a mini-conference

In this guest post, Karen Pierce describes what was involved in organising a recent mini-conference, Conversations with Cataloguers in Wales, which she originally wrote a guest post about when it was in the planning stages. The Welsh event was very successful, anyone else inspired to hold a local event for cataloguers? We’d be happy to help with promotion here at High Visibility Cataloguers, we love to see cataloguers in conversation!

A few years ago I was travelling back from the annual WHELF/HEWIT conference in Gregynog (Newtown, Wales) with a (site librarian) colleague, we’d been on the organising committee and were returning on a high at our successful venture, and thus started bouncing lots of other ideas off one another. One of these ideas was to have an event for cataloguers in Wales as the Gregynog conference doesn’t tend to cover topics in the main that are directly relevant to cataloguers. Fired up with the idea I duly mentioned it at my annual appraisal, and my line manager was very supportive. Eighteen months later I was still just talking about it, but other work issues had got in the way (too busy!), then I embarked on cpd23. Whilst exploring and blogging about the various professional development tools and ideas covered by cpd23 I made a promise to myself, (and publicly on my blog), to actually get this conference organised once and for all. Fast forward seven or eight months, and the ‘Conversations with Cataloguers in Wales’ event became a reality on 6th March 2012.

Most cataloguers tend to be hidden away in the back office; where I work we are actually hidden away in an admin block nowhere near a library. Although there are plenty of librarianship conferences and seminars, aside from events organised by CILIP CIG, these events mostly don’t include a great deal that is directly relevant to cataloguers. I went to my first CIG conference in Exeter two years ago, and it was great to be in a room with lots of other cataloguers – these people were talking my language! I wanted to recreate that on a smaller scale, in Wales; give people locally the chance to get together to talk about ‘cataloguing stuff’.

For the most part I organised this conference on my own, I thought it would be small enough for me to keep a handle on it – which it was, but there were times when it would have been nice to have a team to help me out and take some of the tasks off me (though I did have plenty of help on the day).

Obviously I wanted speakers for the event, so I started by blogging about it, and then mentioning it on Twitter. My tweets were re-tweeted, and I think this was the way in which I got my first offer of a presentation. But not everyone is on Twitter – and certainly most cataloguers in Wales are not on Twitter. I sent emails out to any contacts I had, and someone picked up on my message and sent it out on various email lists. This was a great help and certainly spread the word further than I had managed so far on my own. Posts also went up on the CIG and HVCats blogs. I was curious at this point though, just how do you ensure you reach all your potential audience? (Still don’t have the answer, though a variety of mediums helps!)

I did end up with a list of speakers and potential attendees from all over Wales – predominantly South Wales which is where I was based and where the event took place, but we still had people come from Wrexham, Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Carmarthen, as well as closer to Cardiff. I am sure I did not reach all the cataloguers in Wales with my advertising, (and I’m guessing there are plenty in North Wales I didn’t get to) but as around 45 people signed up to the event I was more than pleased.

We had a variety of talks, three of which looked at reclassification projects and covered the whole range of ‘still in the planning stages’, ‘well under way, but a lot yet to do’ and ‘completed within the time scale’. For anyone planning a reclassification project these three presentations certainly gave a great oversight into the different stages and various procedures involved.

Other presentations looked at some more specialised collections; a Rare books collection, an art book collection at a museum, and Welsh government publications (at the Welsh Government Library). We also had a presentation from a terminologist – which led to plenty of thoughts about controlled vocabularies. [For a more detailed summary of the talks please see my own blog]

Whilst getting in contact with interested people a few of them mentioned that they would like the chance to talk about setting up some kind of all-Wales cataloguing group; thus I set aside a session at the end of the day to enable a discussion on this topic, and asked Stuart Hunt the chair of CIG if he would facilitate it. It was really good to have the opportunity to think about the creation of an all-Wales group, however, get a bunch of cataloguers in a room and ask them to join in a public discussion, and the majority of us do conform to stereotype and aren’t terribly vocal in front of others. It seems in general there is the desire for some kind of all-Wales group or forum, but pinning down the details (and getting people actively contributing) is another matter. I am hopeful that we will start small and grow proportionally as time goes by; and perhaps focus on organising some practical training sessions.

Overall the conference was a success, I had some great speakers, and numbers attending exceeded my expectations. Thanks to Twitter, people the other side of the country knew what was going on; although somehow my internal advertising slipped up, as in the weeks following the conference I had conversations with librarians at my institution who had been unaware of the event but would have otherwise come. I’m pretty sure they were all emailed about it – but whether they switched off at the first mention of ‘cataloguing’ I don’t know. Next time (if there is a next time) I will push things internally in a different way. That was one lesson learned.

I also learned that no matter how organised you are there will always be an unforeseen problem (or multiple problems!) that will crop up. However, if for the most part you have done all the preparation properly you should be able to cope. For example I had some IT problems, but had ensured I had an IT Support Assistant from the library up-stairs on call, so she was able to sort them for me.

Be nice to the porters/security guys – they will probably know the answers to lots of room/building related stuff (especially if you are operating in a room that isn’t where you usually work) – they also managed to give me a bin bag when the rather small bin was overflowing with lunchtime detritus. And don’t forget a Tupperware box to take home the leftovers!

As the stress fades into the background, I start to feel the urges to organise something similar again; maybe not annually but perhaps once every two years or so. It was great to have a room full of cataloguers, and I hope there were plenty of useful informal conversations at lunchtime – another reason for getting together, aside from the presentations, was just to meet each other. I now also have a great list of contacts, and am hoping some kind of all-Wales group or forum will emerge. In these uncertain times it’s encouraging to know who is out there, and what challenges they are facing, and to be able to share our experiences and knowledge, and hopefully help one another.

Give & take the High Visibility way – guest post

We are really pleased to bring you a new guest post by Kate Sebby – @kate80 – about ways of making high visibility work for you. Kate is a cataloging librarian at the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. The views expressed herein are those of the author and are not presented as those of the Congressional Research Service or the Library of Congress.

Though it is a branch of the Library of Congress, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) is not a traditional library. CRS is a think tank staffed mostly by analysts responding to the research requests of the U.S. Congress. Despite this, CRS does have some traditional library functions—such as acquisitions and cataloging—though those departments are very small.

While cataloging is already a fairly desk-bound job, being separated from other divisions by walls and cubicles and sprawling across several floors, makes reaching out to analysts and information professionals an even greater challenge to communication. So I spent my first year at CRS being a typical introverted cataloger; my work was always done competently and on time but I did very little to get away from my desk and interact with others.

With time came confidence and, in the past few months, I’ve been developing relationships with the reference librarians who support our research divisions. It started by responding to basic requests from a few of these librarians to update bibliographic records and holdings in the catalog. My rapid response to their concerns and repeated requests to send any mistakes or updates got their attention. After several months, one of the librarians approached me at a union coffee hour gathering. (I only attended because a more outgoing colleague asked me to attend with her. Still an introvert!) She stated that she had some ideas for working with me and wanted to gauge my interest. I immediately responded with a ‘YES!’ without even knowing what she had in mind.

We set up an arrangement that in return for my cataloging of some of their older, department-specific collections, they would train me in reference—answering requests, aiding analysts’ research, database familiarization, etc. Not only would I be solving a pertinent cataloging problem (getting my hands on all those uncataloged volumes), I would be gaining training and experience to enhance my skill set and resume. Though this is still early in the process, many people in the research division already know me personally and are excited that I can catalog and provide access to their personal office collections. After an email introduction sent to the division, several analysts immediately replied with cataloging requests. In addition, after my reference librarian colleagues provided me with information on a number of databases and introduced me to several training opportunities, I’m now working on my third Congressional request.

While the nature of my job specifically, and cataloging in general, can make it difficult to interact with colleagues frequently, there is still opportunity to do so. There are always ways to make your work more visible. It may start simply with exposure to a small group of people or with a minor project. Attending work events provides unique opportunities. Networking and introducing yourself (or having a more connected coworker introduce you) are great ways to get more exposure. Be quick and responsive when someone reaches out to you. Lastly, be prepared to create or suggest mutually beneficial relationships with others in your library or company.

Higher visibility at Eton College Library – guest post

Our new guest post is by Louise Anderson @LibrarianLCA about her work as Catalogue Librarian working to make the fascinating collections of Eton College Library more visible.

A new year at Eton College Library hopefully means a new (the first!) OPAC. This is very exciting for us after several years building up to the event. Electronic cataloguing started on the main library, housing pre-1800 materials, at the turn of the century and these are still being catalogued now. I was brought in just over three years ago to catalogue the 19th and 20th century printed materials and am still working on these. With this frenzied activity we have a respectable number of items catalogued with which to launch the OPAC.

This would have happened sooner but we seized the opportunity to piggy-back on the rest of the college collections’ change of management system. We have moved from Mikromarc to SSL (System Simulation Ltd.) and, not before time, from UKMARC to MARC 21. We have been working with other SSL users including the Royal Academy of Arts, for whom the system was devised, to optimise the usability and features and have
been able to tweak it in significant ways. When we are up and running, users will be able to search across the collections, many museum items will have images (hopefully this will be extended to books, mss., and archives), and within our records we can add links to webpages.

A letter and airgraphs from Glen Byam Shaw to Angela Baddeley, MS 442. Reproduced by permission of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College.

This has coincided with a drive to catalogue our literary archives and after researching embryonic GLAM guidelines and looking at records of literary archive holdings in other institutions – including the John Rylands University Library – we have decided to do this in the archival rather than the MARC cataloguing system, allowing us to add levels of detail when time and funding allows. We will still have MARC records with links to finding aids for archives that have already been listed, but this will be easy to copy into an archive system record if we wish to in the future. The decision was not straight forward; we may have to iron out issues with the separate authority files and the format of the data within, and if we ever want to put all library items on a different system the mapping would be difficult, however, the college should always have an archives system.

We have made the decision to continue to catalogue our individual literary mss. in MARC 21, including small groups of letters, drafts, etc., although there was much debate about when a group of mss. become an archive. Is it when they are by the same person in the same period of time, or when the letters are to the same person? Is it when the documents exceed a certain number even if there is not necessarily a subject shared? Or does it matter when in their history they were gathered together in one place? We decided there would be an element of cataloguer’s discretion, influenced by factors such as shared subject, place of production, volume, and if they had been collected together before they came to us. However, this is not yet set in stone and any suggestions would be very welcome!

Now for the fun bit. Our priorities regarding what to catalogue have been influenced mainly by use, retaining institutional knowledge, and what we wish to display in the public arena. Our literary archives have been, and are increasingly most likely to be, our high use items. Archives of Glen Byam Shaw, Wilfrid Blunt, Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Thesiger, and David Horner/Osbert Sitwell fall into this category. Our individual literary mss. are also likely to be well used, and the knowledge about most of these rests with our Modern Collections Curator, which we need to capture electronically. I will hopefully be moving on to these very soon and I can’t wait to get my hands on mss. by Coleridge, Byron, Dickens, Browning, Bridges, and Fleming to name but a few. The same motivation will lead on to cataloguing the WWI materials that have been collected in addition to
those forming the original collection of the Macnaghten Library of WWI materials, given to Eton as a memorial in 1938. We will also need to know exactly what we have when we start curating our 2014 WWI exhibition. However, before all of this we need to finish cataloguing the items in our soon to be published “100 books and manuscripts” (working title) publication, which is a roundup of some of the stunning acquisitions of Eton College Library in the last 40 years, including a King James Bible, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s annotated Sophocles, and journals of Anne Thackeray Ritchie – just to whet the appetite.

Six amazing, and possibly unexpected, things about life as a cataloguer

Last week on Twitter, Deborah Lee of the Courtauld Institute of Art listed the “six amazing things” about being a cataloguer, taken from a presentation she had written to give to library school students. Here at HVCats, we loved these six amazing things and thought they deserved a wider audience.

What would your six amazing things be? And how do you describe being a cataloguer when training a new member of staff or talking to students and others new to the library world?

Six amazing things about life as a cataloguer

To India, with love: a cataloguer’s tale

Thanks very much to Rachel Playforth, of the British Library for Development Studies, for this guest post. 

As demonstrated by the recent ‘anatomy of a cataloguer’ debate, the thing we most love about our job isn’t pinning down bibliographic details with merciless accuracy just to appease our uptight personalities, but the fact that what we do helps people find stuff. More than that, without us they may never find it at all. So I just wanted to share a recent experience that warmed my heart and shows how a catalogue record created in the UK can lead, in less than 72 hours, to a satisfied patron with an item on their desk in India.

At the British Library for Development Studies we catalogue (index) individual journal articles from about 160 journals, many of which aren’t indexed by any other A&I services. Once an article is added to our OPAC it is harvested by our ‘Updates’ service, which sends out subject-specific notifications of our new acquisitions to subscribers via email or RSS on a fortnightly basis.

Subscribers (who may be individual researchers, librarians or other staff working on sourcing information for research institutes, universities, NGOs etc) can then request any item in their Update via our document delivery service.

In this case, I catalogued an article from The Indian Journal of Economics on Wednesday, taking care to add relevant subject descriptors (from the catchily named OECD Macrothesaurus for Information Processing in the Field of Economic and Social Development). It was then harvested and sent as part of our ‘Governance, civil society and democratisation’ Update on Thursday. One of our email subscribers, who also has a document delivery account with us, requested it on Friday morning and I duly scanned and delivered the full text of the article to his email inbox on Friday afternoon.

I’d say that was pretty good customer service and an excellent use of the cataloguer’s art (or is it a science? or a craft?) And while it may be unusual for a cataloguer to also be involved with document supply and hence see both ends of the process, as it were, it’s definitely not unusual for us to go out of our way to make things findable, whether from India or anywhere else.

Guest post: On Open Days : showing library staff what actually goes on in your cataloguing department! – Lynne Dyer, Bibliographic Services Manager.

We are pleased to host this post by Lynne Dyer about raising the profile of a cataloguing team through open days. Lynne was inspired to write this after reading Rachel Care’s post earlier this week. Please add your thoughts in the comments box below.

**********************

On Open Days – showing library staff what actually goes on in your cataloguing department!

Lynne Dyer, Bibliographic Services Manager, De Montfort University

 Background

Many years ago, the Cataloguing and Acquisitions teams were based in a different building from the rest of the library, across the road in a fairly basic office.  Logistically, this posed several major problems; adding at least an extra 24 hours to the order to shelf time; increasing the time taken for staff to get from one building to another to undertake their library duties (like, counter, enquiry desk, shelving and shelf-checking sessions); rendering two senior staff unavailable to participate in the duty manager rota (as the duty manager deals with library security incidents and fire alarms / bomb alerts and needs to be on the spot), to name but a few.

Some of the advantages were that cataloguers were not disturbed by other library staff coming into the office to look at items in the backlog (!), but the corollary of this was that we were quite isolated from mainstream library activities, staff from the team were not always known by their colleagues in the library and few other library staff had any knowledge of the work processes in the acquisitions and cataloguing teams.

The Solution

In order to address some of these issues, I organised a series of what I called Open Days. An invitation was issued to all members of the library staff to come and see what went on in the cataloguing team. It had been originally planned that the Open Day would cover both the work of Acquisitions and Cataloguing but this proved impractical to organise so was restricted to the work of Cataloguing. Within the team, a member of staff was assigned to demonstrate each process to the visitors, showing them what was done, how it was done and to answer any questions the visitors might have. Sessions were scheduled to last up to 15 minutes each, and were sequential, so visitors would start with the ordering process, move on to receipting, to cataloguing, to classification etc..

Publicising the Event

The whole event was marketed by a snail mail shot to all library staff which included a “personal” invitation (see Appendix A below).  This invitation was also used as an A3 poster displayed on the various library staff noticeboards. No-one was chased or hounded to come, the sessions were in no way compulsory; it was assumed that anyone who didn’t reply would not be coming.

We were hugely surprised by the amount of take-up we had! So many people wanted to come and see what we did that we had to arrange three groups, the first starting at 9.30am, the second at 10am and the third at 10.30am, which would allow for any session running over time. Once we knew exactly who was attending we allocated them to a specific group and sent them a timetable. (see Appendix B and Appendix C)

Easing the Stress of the Staff

The majority of cataloguing and acquisitions staff had never taken part in any such event previously and were quite unsure and worried about how to present their work to colleagues. In truth, some were quite terrified. In order to help them feel more relaxed about it and better prepared, a briefing session was held at which staff could air their concerns and one or two pointers could be given to them:

  1. Know exactly what you’re going to say, even if you have it all written out on a crib sheet!
  2. Have all your examples sorted and ready to use
  3. Try out your presentation on a team colleague first
  4. Wear something you feel comfortable in – it will help you feel confident!
  5. If people ask questions, answer them as best you can. If you don’t know the answer, say you don’t and offer to find out the answer later, or refer them to someone else who might know the answer
  6. If you feel that questions or comments are being made that seem to criticise you or your working practices then say that this is not an appropriate time for such a discussion and suggest that the questioner addresses their queries to me, the team manager
  7. Remember that you know your job inside out, upside down and back-to-front, so you’re the one in control.

The Open Day

Generally, staff were well-prepared for their demonstrations, some had written notes, others had done a practice demo to a cataloguing or acquisitions colleague etc. so when the time came to share their tasks with other library staff they were very well able to do this.

On the day, naturally, some sessions overran, and some were a tad shorter than anticipated, but on the whole timings were kept to (see Appendix C). If I remember correctly, it did become necessary to take a couple of sessions out of turn, just so that the groups didn’t overlap. Also, as an organiser, I did notice that one or two people didn’t attend every demo they were scheduled to, but that was probably a good thing, as they could concentrate on the things that interested them most, or fitted in with some of what they themselves did. Doing the demos was a very intensive time, however, with each person doing three demos in quite a short space of time, so everyone was drained by the end.

Getting the Feedback

In order to gauge how successful the event had been, each attendee completed a feedback form, which asked them to comment on certain aspects of the day (see Appendix D). This feedback was to help us, when planning any subsequent event, to provide a better experience. Pleasingly, the response rate was 75%, and the majority of these comments indicated that people found the sessions useful, that the format was right, and that they were happy to see everything. The best things seemed to be:

  • Seeing the whole process through and how it fitted together and where it fitted into the roles of the attendees
  • The Open Day taking place!
  • That each session was informative
  • Group size was good
  • The great reception received from the Cataloguing staff

Things that could have been done better included:

  • The timings – some demos were too long
  • The content – some demos were trying to convey complex ideas and processes in too short a time
  • A tea break scheduled in
  • More time for questions and answers
  • More time for a general wander around the office

All these comments were useful and were taken on board when we ran our next set of Open Days.

Subsequent Open Days

The success of that first Cataloguing Team Open Day led other teams to try the same format, so very soon, nearly everyone in the library knew what went on in all parts of the library and such understanding led to better working relationships across the service.

For a couple of years, the Open Day became on annual event, although numbers dwindled, as the staff turnover here has never been high. After the initial Open Day the itinerary was tweaked a bit, timings were modified, a tea break included and some demos removed, in line with the suggestions we had received on the feedback forms.

Having let these sessions lapse, we reinstated them, with a slightly different focus, so people were invited to discover a specific aspect of the cataloguing and acquisitions role, e.g. following the trail of a book order, from order to shelf, following the trail of a serial through the team, and groupings of other, supplementary activities that the teams undertook, for example, the project to get exam papers digitised (see Appendix E). In addition to the revised “routes”, the reverse of the itinerary included a list of all members of the team, their telephone extension number, their email address, and a list of areas in which they were experts. This was headed:

Get the right person – get the right answer!

On the day, each section – e.g. Cat / Class, Serials, Local Inputting etc. – had a banner hanging over their work area to direct people to the sections they were interested in visiting.

Extending the Model

On a more local level, we have also used the same Open Day style to alert people in the team to how their role fits into the role of the team as a whole, so staff were invited to demonstrate their tasks to others in the team. This has led to a more flexible team; people became aware of what else was happening in the team, so they were able to identify areas where they could help out. But, more on this in a future post!

Lynne Dyer, June 2011

Appendix A

“Now what did I do with that book order?

 

Oh yes, I sent it over to the X building …”

From the black hole that is the X building,

home of the Acquisitions and Cataloguing teams,

we offer you the chance to find you exactly what

 happened to your order and how it transmuted

into an entry on OPAC!

See ordering, cataloguing, processing and other

fascinating tasks in action during a fun-packed

O P E N    D A Y

Day: [Day, Date]

Venue: Building X, Rm 2.12

Time: 9.30 onwards

Your personal invitation

Dear  ………………………………………………. You are invited to our Open Day.

RSVP

“—————————————————————————————————————————-

Dear Lynne

I am / am not * able to come to your Open Day

*Please delete as appropriate and return to Lynne Dyer

Cataloguing Team, X Building, Rm 2.12

From…………………………………………………………….

Appendix B

Response to those expressing an interest

OPEN DAY – [Date]

Thank-you to all of you who said you would like to come to our open day. I have divided you into three groups and the following people are in each group.

Please come over to Building X, Room 2.12 and report to the reception desk in time to begin your tour at the appointed time!

Anyone who said they could only come for some of the time, if you still want to come, just join the people in the group that suits you best.

Please let me know if you have any problems with the timetable.

Many thanks. We hope you enjoy your visit!

Lynne

Appendix C

OPEN DAY – [Date]

Timetable

Group 1

9.30        Introduction (staff initials)

9.45        Book orders onto the LMS (staff initials)

9.55        Role of the bookshop (staff initials)

10.05     Receipting (staff initials)

10.15     Dealing with duplicates etc. (staff initials)

10.25     Original works cat/class (staff initials)

10.35     Subject indexing (staff initials)

10.45     Inputting local information (staff initials)

10.55     Processing / jacketing / labelling (staff initials)

11.05     Checking / boxing up (staff initials)

11.15     Any questions (staff initials)

Group 2

10.00     Introduction (staff initials)

10.15     Book orders onto the LMS (staff initials)

10.25     Role of the bookshop (staff initials)

10.35     Receipting (staff initials)

10.45     Dealing with duplicates etc. (staff initials)

10.55     Original works cat/class (staff initials)

11.05     Subject indexing (staff initials)

11.15     Inputting local information (staff initials)

11.25     Processing / jacketing / labelling (staff initials)

11.35     Checking / boxing up (staff initials)

11.45     Any questions (staff initials)

Group 3

10.30     Introduction (staff initials)

10.45     Book orders onto the LMS (staff initials)

10.55     Role of the bookshop (staff initials)

11.05     Receipting (staff initials)

11.15     Dealing with duplicates etc. (staff initials)

11.25     Original works cat/class (staff initials)

11.35     Subject indexing (staff initials)

11.45     Inputting local information (staff initials)

11.55     Processing / jacketing / labelling (staff initials)

12.05     Checking / boxing up (staff initials)

12.15     Any questions (staff initials)

Appendix D

Cataloguing Team Open Day [Date]

Feedback form – in order to help us plan our next session. All replies will be kept confidential.

Did you find today’s sessions useful / helpful?

Was the format of the morning right for you?

Would you have preferred to choose which demos you came to?

What was the best thing about the morning?

What could have been done better?

Thank-you for your time.

Please hand this completed form in as you leave or send it to: Lynne D, Building X, Rm 2.12

Appendix E

Cataloguing Team Open Morning

The morning will begin with a tour of the department to see the progress of a book order from the time it is received in the team to the time the actual book leaves the office. You will then be able to pick which aspects of the team’s work you learn more about by choosing specific areas to visit. Below are some suggested combinations that will give you an overview of the team’s work.

The Basic Book Route

If you want to know more about the basic process for books, follow this suggested route:

¨   Ordering

¨   Receipting

¨   Cat/Class

¨   Local inputting

¨   Processing

¨   Final checking

The Enhanced Book Route

Add-ons to the Basic Book Route could include:

¨   Duplicates, new editions, urgents and freebies

¨   Subject indexing

The Serials Route

If you want to know more about the cataloguing of journals try the following:

¨   Serials

¨   e-Journals

The Homemade Route

If you just want to see one or two aspects of our work feel free to make up your own route, or just come down and ask questions of anyone in the team – if they can’t answer your question, they will know someone who will be able to!

We hope you enjoy your visit.

PS The Exam Paper Route is unavailable for this session, but we hope to run something specifically on this once term has begun.

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
catalogue.

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!