With some people working from home, some wanting to leave face-to-face services with customers who are not compliant with social distancing rules, and some staring down the barrel of redundancy, there have possibly never been more information professionals contemplating self-employment. Here are some tips and resources from my experience this year setting up Beginning Cataloguing.
This month, we’re delighted to feature our Associate Yvonne Lewis, who is the speaker in our November General Seminar on The Unwritten Book.
Now the longest serving National Trust book curator, Yvonne started out as a graduate trainee at Lambeth Palace Library before completing her MA at UCL. When she started work as a cataloguer, the state of the art was 5″ x 3″ catalogue cards, and in her interview she describes the progress she’s seen, through old-style library management systems and retrospective conversion to the online resources with which we are familiar today.
The first Beginning Cataloguing Monthly goes out by email later today, and when it’s gone, it’s gone – you won’t see this content anywhere else on our web offering and we’re deliberately not keeping a public backfile.
Alongside listings of our courses and recent publications, here’s a little teaser, in the form of the pictures we’ve used as section heads.
We’re really excited about our newsletter, Beginning Cataloguing Monthly, which we’re sending to subscribers next Tuesday and which features a range of exclusive content not available elsewhere on our website, blog, or social media.
The lead feature is our Cataloguing Careers series, in which each month we ask a different person 5 questions about their route into the profession. We are absolutely delighted to feature Emma Booth as our interviewee this month. As well as being E-Resources Metadata Specialist at the University of Manchester Library, Emma is the author of the National Acquisitions Group’s report Quality of Shelf-ready Metadata, which is our Metadata Must-read for September.
The Metadata Must-read is one of the Beginnings Bookshelves, which also consists of a Classic Cataloguer, an Associate’s Choice of leisure reading, and a Body in the Library – a new book selected from our project researching crime fiction set in libraries. It’s one that we received as an Advanced Reader Copy, so is different from those on the @bodiesinthelibrary Instagram.
Beginning Cataloguing Monthly also includes a Typo Tip-off and a Metadata Muddle, for which you can suggest solutions and possibly win a free place at one of our upcoming seminars.
All this alongside listings of our events and recent publications, and a newsletter loyalty freebie or discount.
Don’t worry – we’re not going down the road of product placement, shoe-horning links to, I don’t know, fishtanks or phishfood ice-cream into our writing. Several major book sites to which we link anyway – Abe, Abe UK, Betterworld Books, Foyles and Waterstones – offer affiliate links, and so all we’ve done is convert those. (See our book publications page for examples). We’re also not stopping linking to places that don’t offer affiliate links. Facet, who publish books by both Katharine Schopflin and me, will always be the first place we link for those books, and we’re still linking to WorldCat and other library catalogues.
The only change, from our point of view, is that when we link to Abe or Betterworld, for example, we’ll use the affiliate links they offer.
We continue to support independent bookshops, ordering directly from them where we can. However, I find Abe helpful to find rare books and, indeed, bookshops that are new to me. The books pictured in today’s shelfie were all tracked down via them this summer, when I had to replace the collection of old books that is still locked down in my old office, while campus is closed for Covid-19. I have supported Betterworld Books since it first launched, with its regular donations of books to others. It’s my preferred way to dispose of unwanted collections of textbooks, knowing most will find good homes.
I’ve commissioned Andy Horton (BPP University), who wrote his Masters thesis on corporate book donation schemes, to write a Beginnings article on this topic. I’m also commissioning some pieces on indies. If you have a favourite independent bookshop, especially if it trades in second-hand or rare books, and would like to submit a piece to the blog, do get in touch via email to find out about how we commission and remunerate guest posts.
If you have any concerns about our use of affiliate links, you can get in touch directly via info [at] beginningcataloguing.com
Some of you have emailed to ask if we are planning on setting up a newsletter to help you keep up with our courses – newsletters work better for you than blogs, you say, because they land in your inbox.
We hear you! This is what we’ve replied to those of you kind enough to suggest this to us.
Firstly, thanks loads for being interested in our new venture and wanting to keep up with us. To answer your question: YES, I am planning a newsletter for Beginning Cataloguing, but it won’t be up and running until October.