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Library cataloging is the best, how do I do more of it?
November 15, 2012 11:22 AM   Subscribe

What are my options re: doing cataloging work for money? Ideally as a contract cataloger, an outsourced worker, or remotely/virtually? What should I learn if I love library back of house/technical services?

I almost have an MLIS (one more semester) and I currently do remote copy and original cataloging for one company. I am pretty well-versed in current conventions, and I have a good handle on what I need to learn to fully transition to RDA. I love it and I hate my current retail day job, so I would like to find more cataloging work that is similar. I'd like to make enough money to live modestly ($20-30K a year) and make this my main gig.

How do I find temp or permanent cataloging work? Are there companies I should be looking for and actively soliciting? What search terms should I be using in job searches?

Bonus: I like cataloging in general and would consider moving for the right opportunity. The field of technical services calls to me. What skills should I looking into learning? Are there similar jobs you'd recommend outside of the library field?
posted by blnkfrnk to Education (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's not clear from your question: are you asking only about how to get cataloging work with vendors, or are you also interested in cataloging jobs at libraries?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:37 AM on November 15, 2012


Both! I'd rather work with vendors if it means I work from home, but either way.
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:47 AM on November 15, 2012


There's a bunch of advice in this autocat thread.

The big vendors that hire catalogers are Backstage and OCLC -- especially if you know any foreign languages. There's also these folks and these folks and all the standard library vendors (Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Midwest Tape, etc.) hire catalogers.

The library job postings frequently contain cataloger jobs -- LISjobs and ALA job postings are the national ones, and your state library association probably has a job list as well.

If you already have cataloging experience, you might be in a good spot to get any of these jobs.

I've got to run to a meeting, I'll come back later if I think of any more ideas.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:59 AM on November 15, 2012


Additional skills and knowledge that has served me well in my cataloging career:

-Understanding of database management
-Metadata (especially helpful with e-resources)
-Strong understanding of Dewey.
-exposure to a wide variety of formats, including maps, gov docs, serials, and visual materials.

Things I wish I knew:
-Solid understanding of a foreign language, particularly a non-romanized language.

As to finding a job, just keep plugging away at vendors and local libraries. Something will eventually come up. Memail me if you are in the St. Louis area.
posted by teleri025 at 12:24 PM on November 15, 2012


Have you signed up for OCLC-CAT? There are job postings but also some good insight into the way folks are dealing with RDA and different vendor records-- you might be able to follow up on those to see how the vendors are handling their metadata/what they're hiring for. You could also friend the ALA JobList which has lots of info on hiring and librarians.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:49 PM on November 15, 2012


My library no longer hires catalogers--times, they are a-changing. But we do hire librarians who specialize in metadata and are good with Dublin Core, and especially ones with experience in the specific vendor products we use. And most especially ones who have an interest in digital media and experience with a wide variety of item formats.

We also sometimes hire library-specific temps. If your area has an agency like that, it's worth signing up for.
posted by epanalepsis at 1:54 PM on November 15, 2012


This is a pretty useful digest of library-related jobs of all sorts that's updated daily on weekdays.
posted by Pryde at 5:29 PM on November 15, 2012


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