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Introducing… Cat23 Phase One (An announcement at CIG Conference)

This year’s CIG Conference is entitled “The Value of Cataloguing“, which sounds like a topic right up our street here at HVCats. On Tuesday September 11th, Celine Carty will be speaking at the CIG conference in Sheffield about the new HVCats initiative – phase one of the Cat23 idea. Helen Stein came up with this idea and has been doing amazing work in making it happen, but sadly could not attend CIG to present alongside Celine.

For over a year now, we’ve been pondering the idea of how to make a “23 Things for Cataloguers” work. There are lots of problems doing this kind of professional development programme along the same lines as the traditional library “23 Things”. So, in the end, we’ve taken a slightly different route.

Announcing Cat23

Cat23 will encompass a number of initiatives aimed at supporting continuing professional development for cataloguers and those interested in cataloguing.

We are delighted to introduce phase one: a series of interviews with cataloguing practitioners to find out more about the day-to-day realities of working as a cataloguer. We hope that this will provide a real insight into current cataloguing work and answer some questions about what cataloguing actually involves. The interviews aim to cover a range of type of material, type of library and give some idea of the diversity of cataloguing and metadata work. We hope to provide a rounded view of the practicalities of dealing with a specific typical item and the tools used by cataloguers to deal with problems and answer questions. We hope that the interviews will be of interest both to people who catalogue in their current post and to all the cataloguing-curious. The interviews will be a great way of starting out the cat23 project. Each interview will aim to outline the cataloguing context:

  • the types of materials commonly dealt with
  • the type of library/institution
  • the LMS used
  • the specific cataloguing rules & classification system(s) employed to guide practice
  • a look at any ‘local conditions’ that influence the cataloguing
  • the balance of tasks involved in the cataloguer’s daily work
  • the most common difficulties with the type of material being catalogued
  • the key help resources for the cataloguer when they come across a problem

To provide an insight into the realities of day-to-day cataloguing, each interview subject will select one item from their current cataloguing to examine in detail as the basis of the interview.

Several interviews have already been carried out, with more to come. Thanks to our generous interviewees in both the UK and the US who have kindly let us in to get a glimpse of their cataloguing work for this project. We hope to post the first of the interviews here on the blog shortly. Watch this space!