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.

Unpacking Your Library

Unpacking Your Library

This post republishes a piece which was originally commissioned by myVLF and published on their blog as ‘Unpacking Your Library: 10 Top Tips to Organise Your Bookshelves’, myVLF, 3 September 2020.

Whether working, furloughed or simply unable to go out and socialise as much as usual, Covid-19 has given many of us more time at home. Many people have been unpacking their libraries (to use Walter Benjamin’s phrase), building reading nooks and reorganising their shelves. There’s a great tradition of writing to help us in doing this, and especially on the impact that sorting through our books has on us.

If you want to know how to organise your personal library and bookshelves, here are ten top tips based on practical experience and from ten of my favourite books.

Continue reading “Unpacking Your Library”

Farewell and Thanks to myVLF

myVLF

As both a reader and a writer, I wanted to acknowledge the work of Gwynn GB, Kelly Clayton, and Deborah Carr in creating and managing virtual literary festival platform myVLF, which has sadly had to close its doors.

As well as attending many online events there, I was fortunate enough to gain a paid commission to write a blog post for them in September 2020, giving 10 Top Tips to Organise Your Bookshelves. I’ll republish it on the Beginnings Blog now that myVLF is, sadly, no more.

Writing on their website The Blonde Plotters, Gwynn, Kelly and Deborah said:

“When Covid-19 hit our world, we worked flat-out holding as many events as we could and supporting hundreds of authors with their book launches, as well as helping many physical book festivals to reach new audiences … Unfortunately, the huge workload in running so many events, resulted in us not being able to concentrate on our own writing careers. We live for writing and so regretfully we have decided to close MyVLF so that we can reconnect with our author careers and families.”

Beginning Cataloguing Monthly 7

WELCOME to the seventh issue of Beginning Cataloguing Monthly

This month’s Beginning Cataloguing Monthly has just been sent to subscribers.

CONTENTS

BEGINNINGS BOOKSHELVES

Metadata Must-read – Chela Scott Weber, Martha O’Hara Conway, Nicholas Martin, Gioia Stevens and Brigitte C. Kamsler, Total Cost of Stewardship: Responsible Collection Building in Archives and Special Collections, Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research, 2021, https://www.oclc.org/research/publications/2021/oclcresearch- total-cost-of-stewardship.html.

Bodies in the LibraryHolly Danvers, Murder at the Lakeside Library, London: Crooked Lane, July 2021.

Tidy Reading – a link to Sarah Howley’s ‘Recommendations from the APDO Bookclub Bookshelf’ on the APDO Blog; this month’s book club read, Death and Decluttering (McGovern Books, 2020), and my own favourite, Orsola de Castro’s Loved Clothes Last (Penguin Life, 2021), which I offered as  a prize in Tidy Beginnings’s first ever giveaway, timed to coincide with APDO’s Spring Clearing Week campaign.

BEGINNING CATALOGUING LISTINGS

New Publications – Helen O’Neill, Anne Welsh, David A. Smith, Glenn Roe and Melissa Terras, ‘Text Mining Mill: Computationally Detecting Influence in the Writings of John Stuart Mill from Library records’, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, online ahead of print 27 February 2021, https://academic.oup.com/dsh/advance-article/doi/10.1093/llc/fqab010/6153976; and open access at https://melissaterras.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/textminingmill_oneill_roe_smith_welsh_terras.pdf.

Anne Welsh, ‘Book Review: McLeish, Simon (2020, ed.) Resource Discovery for the Twenty-First Century Library. London: Facet. xxxii, 203 p. ISBN 9781783301386′, Catalogue & Index 202, 2021: 57-58, https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.cilip.org.uk/resource/collection/CC45A47F-BE48-4BA1-B6D4-25BF10F1BC41/C&I_202.pdf.

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

Seminars – Gustavo Grandal Montero on ‘Documentation or Artwork?’ and Ash Green on Creative Digital Experiments with Collections. Current seminars open for booking: https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/courses/category/seminars.

Courses – Beginning Bibliography; Beginning Cataloguing Rare Books; Masterclasses with Concetta La Spada. See all current asynchronous courses at https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/courses/category/asynchronous.

If you’re not already a subscriber, you can sign up here.

Beginning Cataloguing Monthly 6

This month’s Beginning Cataloguing Monthly has just been sent to subscribers.

CONTENTS

BEGINNINGS BOOKSHELVES

Metadata Must-read – Shawne D. Miksa, ‘Cataloging Principles and Objectives: History and Development’, Cataloging and Classification Quarterly, published online 22 February 2021, https://doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2021.1883173.

Bodies in the LibraryEva Gates, By Book or By Crook, Berkley Books, 2015; also mentioned: Allie Morgan, Librarian: A Memoir (Ebury, 2021).

Tidy Reading – the books covered by the APDO Book Club: James Clear, Atomic Habits, London: Random House, 2018; Lisa Jewell, The House We Grew Up In, Cornerstone, 2014; Beth Kempton, Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year, London: Piatkus, 2019; Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein, Joy At Work, London, Pan Macmillan, 2020; Christian Van Nieuwerburgh, An Introduction to Coaching Skills, 3rd edition, Sage, 2020.

METADATA MUDDLE Last chance to enter the current competition.

BEGINNING CATALOGUING LISTINGS

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

Seminars – Helen Williams on ‘From Cataloguer to Manager’ (with 50% off code for BCM subscribers); Jacqui Grainger on ‘Unpacking My Library’ (with 50% off code for BCM subscribers). See all current seminars at https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/courses/category/seminars.

Courses – Beginning Bibliography; Beginning Cataloguing Rare Books; Masterclasses with Concetta La Spada. See all current asynchronous courses at https://beginningcataloguing.teachable.com/courses/category/asynchronous.

CALL FOR SPEAKERS – Inviting subscribers to propose a seminar for September – December 2021, February-August 2022. Last chance to apply.

The next issue will go out in mid-March. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can sign up here.