From the catalogs of babes











{October 8, 2009}   a busy week

Lots of crazy stuff going on in cataloging this week, from the Library of Congress finally coming to the table regarding the subject heading “Cookery” [pdf] to a new bibliographic utility in the market to compete with OCLC. Plus I’ve been finishing up a 4-part series of blog posts in response to reader commentary talking about how I started cataloging and directions from there.

But all of those things pale compared to the official announcement today that our Head Librarian is resigning. She’s moving on to new & better things, but I confess I’m anxious about what will happen now–especially since the library director already has some “ideas.” That’s probably the part that scares me the most.

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We had another instance today of a patron searching for a title we hold that didn’t return in the search results. This time it wasn’t a student–it was the chair of the fashion design department.

She didn’t make a big deal out of it, blowing it off like it was a random typographical error, perhaps. Sometimes I wonder if it even occurs to patrons that it’s the catalog that’s broken, not them. When their catalog search doesn’t work, a lot of people walk away with the impression that they’ve done something wrong, when really it’s the fault of the catalog.

I worry about this building a cycle of poor self-esteem and confidence, especially considering that library anxiety is a documented issue. Not only might our patrons walking away without the resources they seek, but also without the belief that they are smart or skilled enough to find those resources in the first place.



et cetera