Cataloguing Careers: Harriet Hopkins

Harriet Hopkins

Our Cataloguing Careers feature has returned to the newsletter this issue, with Harriet Hopkins answering five questions on her interest in cataloguing and metadata.

Harriet is one of the speakers in tomorrow’s seminar on Training Matters. She’s also the recipient of CILIP Cymru Wales’s Kathleen Cooks Fund award to obtain cataloguing training for herself and her staff at Bridgend Library. As Library Manager and Strategic Lead: Programming & Promotion at Awen Cultural Trust, cataloguing is only one of her professional interests, but, as she points out in our newsletter and will no doubt re-iterate tomorrow, it was an area of professional practice that she identified early on as a an “elusive skill that no one seemed to talk about.” Her determination to ensure that she and other branch staff “are able to amend a record, or add a thesis” and her perseverance to do so are, quite frankly, awe-inspiring.

It’s thanks to managers like Harriet that cataloguing is not the lost cause in the public library sector that many believed it was becoming only a few years ago. Huge thanks to Harriet for sharing her journey in the Beginning Cataloguing News Cataloguing Careers feature for November 2021.

Cataloguing Careers is one of several features only available to newsletter subscribers. The next newsletter will go out in December, and you can sign up here if you haven’t already: http://tinyletter.com/beginningcataloguing.

Beginning Cataloguing News 9

Welcome to Beginning Cataloguing News 9, with image of desk at window overlooking autumn vine.

Our newsletter went out to subscribers today.

CONTENTS

CATALOGUING CAREERS – Harriet Hopkins, Awen Cultural Trust.

TYPO TIPOFF

Do you need to manouvre the oeuvres on your catalogue after several upgrades? With thanks to @zemkat’s tweet on “uvres” for prompting me to have a look for its occurrences on WorldCat.

BEGINNINGS BOOKSHELVES

Metadata Must-read – RBMS Bibliographic Standards Committee, Decriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (RDA Edition), 2021, https://bsc.rbms.info/DCRMR.

Bodies in the LibraryCharity Blackstock, Dewey Death, London: William Heinemann, 1956.

A hiatus in receipt of galleys for new library-set crime novels coincides neatly with requests from 3 readers for recommendations of classic bodies in the library.

Tidy ReadingThe latest APDO Newsletter is out, and I was pleased to see my interview with Sarah Gregg highlighted in its regular “Blog Posts You’ll Love” section. This month, minimalist Chris Lovett came along to the APDO Book Club, and fellow book club organiser Nicola Austin and I have a post on the APDO blog in which Nicola poses five questions to him: https://www.apdo.co.uk/discovery-of-less-chris-lovett.

BEGINNING CATALOGUING LISTINGS

New Publication – Nicola Austin and Anne Welsh (2021). ‘Discovery of Less: Interview with Chris Lovett’, APDO Blog, 12 November, https://www.apdo.co.uk/discovery-of-less-chris-lovett.

Cataloguer Catch-up – highlights from our social media this month.

Seminars – Thanks to the generosity of seminar attendees last year (our first year), we are able to offer this year’s seminars on a “pay what you can” basis. This means that if you can’t afford CPD at the moment, you can come for free – no questions asked. If you can afford to pay £6 or £12, we’ll use your money to pay for next year’s seminars, and so on and so forth into the future. Some seminars will be recorded and available for one month after the event – please check individual pages for details.

[RECORDING OF] 1pm, 19 October: Cataloguing Matters – Anne Welsh, https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/general-seminar-september.

1pm, 17 November: Training Matters – Harriet Hopkins (Awen Cultural Trust) and Amy Staniforth in conversation with Anne Welsh, https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/seminar-november.

1pm, 3 December: Provenance Puzzles – Yvonne Lewis, https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/december-seminar-provenance-puzzles.

1pm, 26 January: Metadata Is Mainstream – Alan Vaughan Hughes (Cardiff University), https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/january-seminar-metadata-is-mainstream.

1pm, 9 February: Medieval Colours – Sara Charles (Teaching Manuscripts), https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/february-seminar-medieval-colours.

1pm, 1 March: MARC Data for Theatre – Tom Spencer (Codurance), https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/march-seminar-marc-data-for-theatre.

Also Booking – Beginning Bibliography, https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/beginning-bibliography.

Cataloguing Office Hour

Cataloguing Quandary? Launched at the request of clients who need to be able to book fixed-price very bespoke training, whether it’s a question about AACR2, RDA, DCRM or about the business of cataloguing (advocacy, training opportunities, career development) or, if you’re just looking for a confidential sounding board for your work project(s), the Cataloguing Office Hour aims to provide a low-cost, easy-to-access consultancy service: https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/anne-welsh-office-hour

Our next newsletter will go out in December. You can sign up here: http://tinyletter.com/beginningcataloguing.

Event Report: Cataloguing Matters

"Fantastic as always to join in the #cataloguing and #metadata discussion with @BeginningCat - highly recommend attending these seminars live!" - @EmmaE_B on twitter

There are still a few days to sign up for the recording of last month’s seminar on Cataloguing Matters.

As is always the way, the best of the discussion happened after the introductory presentation, and it was great to hear from participants what is happening in their corner of the cataloguing and metadata world. The Chatham House Rule applies, and the recording captures only my initial presentation.

In it I talked a little about how cataloguing has changed over the years, beginning with the card catalogue days in which I began my professional career, and examining the core principles by which we still work. Perhaps controversially, I presented a view that while work to add large sets of metadata to catalogues and discovery engines is vital and important, there is still a need for cataloguing at the individual level. There are some materials whose metadata is simply going to be wanted by so few libraries that I believe they will never be cost effective for data suppliers to prioritise other than as a specific project for a specific client. (Note: data and metadata suppliers do undertake such work, and usually with the added benefit that fresh records are added to their wider pool).

We had a look in some detail at Calhoun’s significant report, The Changing Nature of the Catalog and Its Integration with Other Discovery Tools (Library of Congress, 2006), and thought about contexts in which its very true observations about national and academic libraries simply cease to pertain in some other organisations. I highlighted Jewett’s original calculation, that creating a stereotyped catalogue of shared records would still leave around a third of the materials needing to be catalogued by individual libraries – or, at least, by his individual library, the Smithsonian, on which he was basing his calculations (p. x).

We also talked a little about the National Acquisition Group’s report on the Quality of Shelf-ready Metadata (NAG, 2020), and discussed how in it we can see academic libraries following the same cycle we have seen in public libraries over the last 10-15 years.

The news from the public library sector is quite bright, though. As well as the Bridgend Library cataloguing project, about which we’ll hear more on Wednesday, when Harriet Hopkins (Awen Cultural Trust) and Amy Staniforth (CILIP Cymru Wales) are discussing Training Matters with us, there are several library authorities who are in the process of commissioning bespoke training for their staff. Local Studies collections are often the repository of exactly the kind of semi-published and privately printed materials that it can be difficult to locate and download from databases of shared cataloguing. Such materials can often seem more complex to non-cataloguers than many of the standard books for which it’s easy to download a perfect dataset.

I’ll be picking up this refrain in a little more detail in the article I’ve been commissioned to write for the next issue of Catalogue and Index, which, like all their issues, will be available open access. It will also contain a piece by Emma Booth on why Metadata Matters, as well as other articles on advocacy for our area of the information professions. I’ll pop a link to the new issue here, and, of course, in the newsletter when the Catalogue and Index editors let us know it is out.

In the meantime, I hope to see some of you at our seminar with Harriet and Amy on Wednesday.

Beginning Cataloguing News 8

BEGINNING CATALOGUING NEWS
WELCOME
... to the eighth issue of Beginning Cataloguing News.

Image: "Why do I want to know about Cataloguing? It's the power I crave"

Our newsletter went out to subscribers today.

CONTENTS

BEGINNINGS BOOKSHELVES

Metadata Must-read – Marshall Breeding, ‘2021 Library Systems Report: Advancing Library Technologies in Challenging Times’, American Libraries 3 May 2021, https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2021/05/03/2021-library-systems-report.

Bodies in the LibraryRex Pickett, The Archivist, Ashland, Oregon: Blackstone Publishing, November 2021.

Tidy Reading – One of the things that kept me busy over the summer was being appointed, along with Nicola Austin (Life of Libra), as co-organiser of the APDO Book Club. We’ve managed to book some great authors to come along to our meetings, the first being Sarah Gregg, who spoke to us about her books Find Your Flow (New York: Rock Point, 2020) and Choose Happy (New York: Rock Point, 2021).

BEGINNING CATALOGUING LISTINGS

New Publications – Sarah Howley, Anne Welsh and Nicola Austin (2021). ‘APDO Book Club Reads 2021’, APDO Blog, 4 August 2021, https://www.apdo.co.uk/apdo-book-club-reads-2021.

Anne Welsh (2021). ‘Find Your Flow and Choose Happy: Interview with Sarah Gregg’, APDO Blog, 8 September, https://www.apdo.co.uk/find-your-flow-and-choose-happy-interview-with-sarah-gregg.

Stella Wisdom with input from Ash Green, Cheryl Tipp and Marion Tessier (2021). ‘Making Games in the Wood with Twine’, Digital Scholarship Blog, 17 May, https://blogs.bl.uk/digital-scholarship/2021/05/making-games-in-the-woods-with-twine.html.

Cataloguer Catch-up – highlights from our social media this month.

Seminars – Thanks to the generosity of seminar attendees last year (our first year), we are able to offer this year’s seminars on a “pay what you can” basis. This means that if you can’t afford CPD at the moment, you can come for free – no questions asked. If you can afford to pay £6 or £12, we’ll use your money to pay for next year’s seminars, and so on and so forth into the future. Some seminars will be recorded and available for one month after the event – please check individual pages for details.

1pm, 19 October: Cataloguing Matters – Anne Welsh, https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/general-seminar-september.

1pm, 17 November: Training Matters – Harriet Hopkins (Awen Cultural Trust) and Amy Staniforth in conversation with Anne Welsh, https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/seminar-november.

1pm, 3 December: Provenance Puzzles – Yvonne Lewis, https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/december-seminar-provenance-puzzles.

1pm, 26 January: Metadata Is Mainstream – Alan Vaughan Hughes (Cardiff University), https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/january-seminar-metadata-is-mainstream.

1pm, 9 February: Medieval Colours – Sara Charles (Teaching Manuscripts), https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/february-seminar-medieval-colours.

1pm, 1 March: MARC Data for Theatre – Tom Spencer (Codurance), https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/march-seminar-marc-data-for-theatre.

Course – Beginning Bibliography, https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/p/beginning-bibliography.

Our next newsletter will go out in November, and will feature Harriet Hopkins in a welcome return of our popular Cataloguing Careers feature, which is only available to newsletter subscribers. You can sign up here: http://tinyletter.com/beginningcataloguing.

Mockingbird

 	This is the September selection for the APDO Book Club, and, to be honest, I wouldn’t have chosen to read it otherwise - I really dislike issues-based fiction and avoid it if I can.

At least in this case the author is writing from a place of some knowledge. Kathryn Erskine lives in Virginia, and was local when the school shooting at Virginia Tech took place. Her daughter, like the narrator of Mockingbird, has Asperger’s, and Erskine says she was interested in the ways families reacted after the school shootings - and particularly how they were explained to children with special educational needs.

The book is well-written and well-paced, covering a lot of ground in its 151 pages. I think the author achieves everything she set out to, so it’s definitely worth three stars. However, the genre of necessity is quite heavy-handed in pointing out the issues - that’s what I don’t like about it - and Mockingbird sticks within its conventions. If you like issues-based fiction, you’ll probably love this book. I don’t, so while I can see the author’s skill and tell it’s a brilliant book of its kind, it, and other books like it, just aren’t for me.

This month, my fellow APDO Book Club organiser, Nicola Austin, selected three fiction books with neurodiverse lead characters and asked members to vote for their favourite. Mockingbird won hands down, and led to a lively discussion on Autism, its representation in fiction, and our experiences working with clients living with it.

What’s New in ‘New RDA?’

TCD What's New in 'New RDA'?

A busy day today, delivering training to staff at Trinity College Dublin on the latest changes in RDA and the RDA Toolkit. While no library has yet implemented the newest version, it’s important for national libraries to be aware of what’s happening, and this training looked at the 3R Project and more recent updates.

(Often we provide bespoke training under business confidentiality agreements, and so can’t talk about it here, so we’re always especially grateful to organisations who are able to allow us to share that we have provided services to them).

Cut the Clutter Book Sprint

On Friday evening we have a special guest live with me. Anne Welsh. Fellow APDO member and Cataloguer. Bio in comms.

As part of her business Cut the Clutter, Marie Bateson runs a really supportive Facebook group as well as working directly with clients to declutter.

This week they’ve been having a sprint on dealing with books – including the hardest of all to part with: books with a sentimental association. It was really lovely to meet members of the group in tonight’s Facebook Live.