UW Libraries Blog

February 22, 2019

Change the title, change the work

Erin Grant

card catalogWith cataloging work essential to strengthening our users’ ability to find information, catalogers have begun exploring new ways of working to meet the challenges of evolving university needs. With seemingly one small naming tweak to a standing committee, we have established a new venue for staff development that will directly inform our ability to improve user access and discovery of our collections.

The new Cataloging Policy and Practice Committee (CPPC) was convened last fall to holistically address Libraries cataloging practice. Formerly only a policy committee, the restructuring group now serves as a forum for discussing our work and priorities. What we are we doing and why? Where are we spending our time ? And what are we not doing? The CPPC will serve as the forum for these considerations as we balance the need to manage backlogs, maintain quality, and participate in national cooperative programs.

Restructuring the new committee involved a new charge, new membership and stakeholders, and new guidelines for collaboratively working. With feedback from former committee members and Libraries catalogers—and a shared understanding of what it means to be a learning organizationwe moved set our sights on long-term impact and without fear of failing along the way.

CPPC’s first endeavor has been the development of a Cataloger Training Checklist that anticipates the recruitment of cataloging librarians and specialists in East Asia Library and in Cataloging & Metadata Services, and prepares for the possibility of other future staffing needs. Developing the checklist so far has involved CPPC member collaboration on an initial outline, pulling together existing training materials, and identifying trainers and methods, and articulating future needs.

By providing a common cataloging training plan that may be reused by multiple Libraries departments, implementing the training checklist advances the goal of investing in staff development to provide new skills in support of changing university needs. We also aim to make our checklist available to the professional cataloging community beyond the the UW, demonstrating our commitment to collaboration and sustainability, two key Libraries values.

Following the implementation of this training plan, CPPC will be better positioned to take on other pressing issues that will allow us to further strengthen our users’ ability to efficiently find and use Libraries collections. Cataloging backlog strategies, retrospective enhancement of existing records to add faceted data, and discussing strategic application of minimum and maximum cataloging standards, are among the issues we will engage.

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Erin Grant

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