Posting to Autocat
On 11/3/2015 3:44 PM, Cindy Wolff wrote:
“And directors may not want of invest in good cataloging if they can get it cheaply from other sources”- that also means cheap student labor. It was an administrative decision to not hire professionals for professional work, so yes, it does mean taking work away from professionals. You have no choice but to either hold out for a professional position or get the work done. What is presented as a dilemma is really a foregone conclusion you have no say in.
To be fair, if I am not mistaken, Jean is at the University of North Texas, which has a real, live library school. So “students” there are not necessarily the same as “students” in institutions without a library school. At UNT, they should be considered more as “interns”. (Please correct me if I am wrong)
But ultimately, I do agree with you. In other fields, there is no question that people must have proper credentials to do something: doctors must be properly credentialed, as are dentists, lawyers, professors and others. It used to be similar in libraries, but that is changing.
Perhaps there is no real problem with such a change, but if there is, the arguments will have to come from inside the cataloging profession, not outside. Thomas Mann from LC (reference librarian) has written about the need for good cataloging, but relatively few others.
The problem is that what we proclaim goes against the personal experiences of the users themselves. We talk about how great our records are and how wonderful our methods of access are, and then we show them… the catalogs that the public has rejected! Then we go on to promise wonderful changes in very abstract terms with strange language: RDA, FRBR, entities, expressions, linked data, blah blah and nothing changes for years and years.
Of course people will be skeptical. How could they not?