Using Core Competencies to Market Cataloging Expertise

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.


Cataloging Core Competency

I had a great time speaking about cataloging core competency at the Ohio Valley Group of Technical Services Librarians Annual Conference (slides and abstract below). I thoroughly enjoyed all of the stories and experiences that session participants shared.

Thank you, to all who attended!


Linked data, RDA, and shelf ready processing are relatively recent developments in a long evolution of library technology, metadata standards, and technical services workflows. Although change has been a constant fixture of the cataloger’s reality, change is nonetheless disruptive—sometimes, bridges burn.

This session takes a historical view of cataloging and metadata creation from the time of Cutter to the dawn of semantic search. The evolution and interplay of technology, metadata standards, and workflows—the tools of our trade—will be considered. What were the roles of catalogers during times of transition? Which personal and professional strengths have proven invaluable over the last century? How does any of this help our community interpret developments in linked library data or user-centered resource discovery?

The presenter will propose a framework for interpreting changes in library technology, metadata standards, and technical services workflows. By viewing such changes through the lens of cataloging  core competency, our community might navigate into new territory and cooperate in the building of new bridges.

To view the speaker notes, open the presentation in SlideShare and click on notes.