Three Days in the Life…

I have very little discipline. I had every intention of posting every day this week about my  job as a librarian. The week is half over and this is the first time I’ve visited my blog since Monday.

So, what do I do at the library? Well, my job title is “Electronic Resources Cataloging Coordinator.” In a nutshell,  I keep my eye on the “big picture” in terms of electronic resource (eresource) cataloging to make sure nothing falls through the cracks plus I catalog eresources.

We subscribe to many eresources and have only a few staff cataloging them. There are two serials catalogers who do print and electronic. Their supervisor also catalogs print and electronic resources, but not just serials.

I catalog mostly eresources (databases, websites, and other online documents plus statistical data) with the occasional printed codebook thrown in for good measure. I used to catalog CD-ROMs but those are now cataloged in another unit. Every now and then I receive a serial on CD-ROM to catalog.


I try to get to the library before 9am and am usually successful (I’m not a morning person).

I work on the second floor of the library in a room shared by five people. I end up giving directional assistance to lost patrons because my cubicle is closest to the door. The second floor is divided into two sections and you can’t get from one to the other via the second floor…

I check email and respond to anything that can’t wait when I arrive at the library. Then, I look around my desk to see what I want to work on. The nice thing about being a cataloger is that I can choose what I work on (within reason – if something’s a “rush” or something, of course I catalog it first) and when I work on it.

This morning, I edited some bibliographic records (the online equivalent of catalog cards) for some titles that are part of our subscription to Alexander Street Press (ASP). As part of our subscription, ASP provides MARC records, so rather than doing the cataloging myself, I retrieve the file of records, make a few modifications to the records and load them as a batch into our online catalog, Voyager.

The cataloging for the ASP titles is fairly good and consistent, so the only modifications I make to the records are adding a local call number “Electronic Resource” and removing unnecessary fields and subfields. I useTerry Reese’s wonderful MarcEdit to make these changes. After I resave the file of records, I batch-load them in Voyager. This is just a matter of starting a macro (written using Macro Express) and letting it run. The macro opens the file of records, adds a field to the record for our cataloging statistics, saves the record, and creates and saves a holdings record.

Unfortunately, while the macro is running, I can’t use my computer for anything else, so I have a laptop. While records are loading, I use the laptop to do other cataloging–the things that can’t be batch loaded.

Today I worked on material (social science data and accompanying documentation) from Data and Statistical Services, a part of the library’s Social Science Reference Center.

Well, the train is getting ready to go into the tunnel, so I’ll stop now. (I’m also a cellist and am currently playing in the orchestra for West Side Story on Broadway. I’m headed to the theater now…)

Stay tuned!

A blog, eh?

Or something like that. That was the title of my first post on my old blog. It turned out that I really don’t have much to say, so my blog usually contains announcements of some sort.

This morning I encountered another blog by way of a friend: Library Day in the Life.

Whether you are a librarian or library worker of any kind, help us share and learn about the joys and challenges of working in a library. Join us by sharing details of your day for a week on your blog. Not only is this a great way for us to see what our colleagues are doing and how they spend their days but it’s a great way for students who are interested in the library profession to see what we really do.

  • Round 1 July 2008
  • Round 2 January 2009
  • July 27th 2009 begins the Second Annual

I missed the first round of this but it seems like a pretty cool idea, so I’ve decided to participate this time around. Today is day one. I just arrived at work after waiting for the gunman on campus to leave. It’s true.

Actually, there was a report of a gunman, but it turned out it was someone with a water gun. Yay.

OK. Time to work. More later.

Oh. Here are some photos of my workspace (my apologies for the poor quality):

Slides and Audio from “Pay-Per-View Options: Is Transactional Access Right For My Institution?” (ALCTS Electronic Resources Interest Group)

The ALCTS CCS Electronic Resources Interest Group presented a panel discussion “Pay-Per-View Options: Is Transactional Access Right For My Institution?” on Saturday, July 11, 2009, from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Presenters and participants shared their experiences and questions related to providing access to journal content without submitting their bottom lines to costly and sometimes little-used journal subscriptions.

Slides and audio from the session are available on ALA Connect:

Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) – A Conference for ALL Librarians

We had a steering committee meeting for JCLC 2012 (Joint Conference of Librarians of Color) this evening, and I was  so happy to see the new pin we had designed for the conference. We have a limited number of pins, and they are only $5.00 each. The pin will probably be the first of  a limited edition collectors’ set. How cool is that?! If you’d like to purchase a pin, email me at

JCLC 2012 Limited Edition Pin

JCLC 2012 Limited Edition Pin

I had the privilege of attending the first JCLC, and it was probably one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my career as a librarian. The conference is truly for ALL librarians, not just those of color. The energy and passion in the atmosphere at JCLC I made me proud to be a librarian.

If you’d like a pin commerating the 2nd JCLC, which will be in Kansas City in 2012, let me know. Likewise, if you’d like more information about the conference or are interested in presenting at the conference, please let me know. It’s truly a unique experience and opportunity.

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