Interview with a Cataloger

I received an email yesterday from a student at the University of Pittsburgh’s iSchool. She just started taking a cataloging course and has some questions for catalogers. If you’d like to answer any or all of these questions, please send your response to Rebekah at As a teacher, I love talking to new cataloging students about the profession and I am looking forward to answering Rebekah. I hope some of you will answer her, too!


Some Questions for Catalogers from Rebekah

1. Can you describe a typical work day?

2. What is your favorite part about your job? What is your least favorite part?

3. What are the five most important things you learned in library school? (Or five things you wished you had learned in library school.)

4. Are there any resources you would recommend for a beginning cataloger?

5. Why do you think so many librarians dread the thought of cataloging?

6. Have you read Richard Murray’s essay “The Whimsy of Cataloging”? (Available here: Does his love of cataloging resonate with your experience?

7. What are some of the most bizarre LCSH you have come across?

8. Do you consider yourself a cataloger or a metadata librarian? How do you see these roles evolving?

9. In your library setting, how are materials processed? Who does what?

10. Can you describe how authority control is implemented? Do you contribute to NACO or SACO?

11. What ILS do you use? How do you see ILSs generally evolving?

12. Do you see any role for social tagging in cataloging?

13. What do you see as the future of AACR2?

14. What is your opinion on RDA and the changes that may be coming?

15. What attributes make a good cataloger?

16. Are there any other questions I should be asking?

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