From the catalogs of babes

It’s true. In high school, I wanted to learn Russian, or maybe Chinese or Japanese. My school was progressive enough to offer a full four years of classes in each of those languages. But my parents strongly suggested* I study a more practical language, like Spanish, that I would be sure to find useful in the future, in the job market and such.

Nowadays, I see oodles of cataloging jobs for people who can read Russian, Chinese, or Japanese. Spanish, not so much…

We’ve had a pile of foreign language books sitting in our workroom, uncataloged, since I started working as the cataloger. They’re great resources with amazing images, but they’ve been stored in the very back bottom corner shelf, because no one in the library reads Chinese or Japanese or Korean.

We’ve been working on improving our techncial processing workflow due to some staffing changes, so I’ve been cleaning off bookshelves and moving things around. I decided it might finally be time to bite the bullet and tackle these materials, even if it meant tracking down people throughout the school that could read these langauges and help me write records. So I pulled out the stack and discovered that almost every single book has an ISBN, and 90% have full records in OCLC with subject headings and everything.

Which is awesome, becuase I only read Spanish, and not all that well, even after all those years of classes. It’s not so awesome that those books sat there for 3+ years, but better late than never, right?


*You know how that goes with parents. I was pretty much forced.

et cetera