Re: [ACAT] Reference librarians as people who explain how library catalogs work (WAS: [ACAT] Seventh Day Adventists (LCSH and corp. body))

Posting to Autocat

On 19/02/2013 04:05, Frank Newton wrote:

(1) How many Reference librarians would agree with James that “the library catalog is broken”?

(2) Can Reference librarians who believe that “the library catalog is broken” provide the kind of help for library users that Ian describes?

Two observations:
First, as my latest podcast tries to demonstrate, the catalog is broken. It’s not an opinion. Even someone who knows how a catalog is supposed to work (me) has to fight with it, and even then it was too much and I gave up. I am not finding fault or placing blame on anyone, but I think this must be accepted as fact.

Second, having reference services “educate users” cannot be seen as any kind of solution. The solution must be to fix the catalog to make it work in today’s world. Otherwise, it remains broken and reference librarians will be educating people how to use a broken tool.