Using Core Competencies to Market Cataloging Expertise

Metadata creators can use their cataloging core competencies to influence, lead change, and promote professional values. Presentation for the Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference, November 15, 2017.

I had a blast brainstorming how to advocate for cataloging and metadata operations in Indiana libraries! As promised, here is the Guide for Writing Core Competencies for Cataloging Positions.

Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference session participants shared many stories about how they explain what catalogers do. I captured notes from that discussion and included them in my slides (below). From those notes, I derived cataloging competencies. Those cataloging competencies include Research and Analytical reasoning–which is no surprise–as well as Judgement and Building trust. Building trust came up in the context of catalogers being trusted experts. Other stories showed that library users trust the authoritative information available to them in the library catalog.

My sincere gratitude to those who came to the session and shared their stories and ideas. I left feeling inspired and in awe of my fellow catalogers working in Indiana’s libraries.


The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association, endorsed the document “Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians” in March 2017. Whether you are a supervisor, a full-time cataloger, or someone who catalogs only under duress, core competencies can help you draw a direct correlation between quality cataloging and superior service. In this interactive session, participants will learn what core competencies are, how to use them in strategic planning and advocacy, and how to write core competencies that are appropriate for their own workplaces.


To view my speaker notes, view the presentation in SlideShare and click on the Notes tab.