What’s it like to be a cataloger?

Here’s a great post from the Smithsonian Collections Blog on what’s it like to be a cataloger. Enjoy.



I think being a cataloger is one of the best jobs ever, but, generally speaking, cataloging has traditionally enjoyed a mixed reputation, even among other librarians and archivists. Catalogers are sometimes stereotyped as rules-obsessed and not particularly social, hidden away at the back of the office, in contrast to the friendly, outgoing image associated with reference staff. A good way to make someone’s eyes glaze over at a party is to tell them that you write and edit the information that appears in online catalog records —but you should tell people this with a twinkle in your eye, because you know that as an archival or special collections cataloger, you get to work directly with the coolest of the cool materials. You’re often among the first at your archives or library to have the privilege of looking through the new acquisitions, and you’re also the one who examines the old treasures when it comes time to upgrade their catalog records.


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