Cataloging as a Public Service? I Think So!

*Cataloging as a Public Service? I Think So!*

January 8-9, 2014

Hosted by John Sandstrom and Beth Thomsett-Scott

Please join us for an e-forum discussion. It’s free and open to everyone!
Registration information is at the end of the message.

Each day, discussion begins and ends at:

Pacific: 7am – 3pm
Mountain: 8am – 4pm
Central: 9am – 5pm
Eastern: 10am – 6pm

The essence of public service is the ability for patrons to discover the
item, AKA “discoverability.” Catalogers and technical services staff are
the ones who make this happen. There are many questions associated with
these two statements. Does your organization value your work as a cataloger
in terms of making items discoverable? Do your public service colleagues
see these statements as true? Today we are in a period of rapid change in
cataloging. There are many pressures on cataloging units, including
outsourcing, decreasing resources, increasing costs, and changes to the
very foundations of the work we do. With the implementation of RDA, the
expansion of discovery services, and the changing needs of library patrons,
it is time for us to take a look at how Cataloging as Public Service is
changing to make use of new tools and meet the needs of new, or, changing

In this e-forum, we want to discuss the changes we are seeing in how
cataloging acts as a public service, what future trends are developing, and
share the way we are using new tools and services to better serve our

Some of the questions that may be included are:

– How does cataloging support public services (reference) and the goals
of discoverability and accessibility of information?
– What is the value of having catalogers serve as reference librarians
and/or liaison librarians?
– Have discovery systems reduced the need for thorough cataloging of
records from a public services (findability) view point?
– How do current rules detract from user needs?
– Is there tension between national standards and local needs? How might
these be overcome?

*John Sandstrom *started his career in libraries as a copy-cataloger at the
University of Tulsa while working on his MLIS at the University
Oklahoma. Since
graduating in the late ‘80’s, he has bounced around the country working in
Technical Services, Public Services, Collection Development/Acquisitions,
and Library Management. He is currently managing the Acquisitions Unit at
New Mexico State University, teaching cataloging in the Library Science
Associates Degree program at Dona Ana Community College, and working on a
doctorate in Educational Leadership and Development. When not working or
going to school (HA!), he weaves, spins, and is an active member of the
Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).

*Beth Thomsett-Scott *is Interim Head of the Discovery Park Library at the
University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, Texas. She is currently serving
as liaison to the College of the Engineering, and has had responsibilities
for the physical and life sciences departments as well during her 12 year
tenure with UNT. Beth’s professional passions include high quality customer
service, web site usability, user satisfaction, and emerging technologies.
When not working, Beth enjoys crime dramas, action and horror movies, and
spending time with her daughter, cats, and dog.

*What is an e-forum?*

An ALCTS e-forum provides an opportunity for librarians to discuss matters
of interest, led by a moderator, through the e-forum discussion list. The
e-forum discussion list works like an email listserv: register your email
address with the list, and then you will receive messages and communicate
with other participants through an email discussion. Most e-forums last two
to three days. Registration is necessary to participate, but it’s free. See
a list of upcoming e-forums at:

*To register:*

Instructions for registration are available at: Once you have
registered for one e-forum, you do not need to register again, unless you
choose to leave the email list. Participation is free and open to anyone.
If you have any problems, please contact

Posted on behalf of the ALCTS Continuing Education Committee