Focus on Committees & Interest Groups: Catalog Form & Function Interest Group

This month we are visiting with the Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) Catalog Form and Function Interest Group. Chair Mike Monaco responded to our questions. Read on to learn more about their activities and how you can become involved!

What’s the mission of the Catalog Form and Function Interest Group?

Our charge sums it up pretty well: “The Catalog Form and Function Interest Group exists to explore the evolving nature of the library catalog and its relationship to the fundamental mission and expanding services of libraries.” Library catalogs have changed dramatically along with information technology, and the interest group is interested in how the traditional functionality of the catalog (providing access to library resources) has been impacted by these changes, as well as how thoughtful design and leverage technology can improve this access.

Mission of the Catalog Form & Function IG

Tell us about some past projects of Catalog Form and Function Interest Group of which you’re particularly proud.

We are very proud of our meeting at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference. The program drew a large number of attendees (approximately 80), and we think that can partly be attributed to the fact that we invited speakers to talk about topics of interest to both public library and academic library audiences.

How has the focus of Catalog Form and Function Interest Group changed over time?

As catalogs change, so do the topics and issues. Discovery layers, increased interest in open source integrated library systems, consortial catalogs, and other topics come and go as “hot topics.” The focus is still the catalog, but that topic has expanded greatly in the last ten to fifteen years. Plus, the chairs change yearly. The special interests of the officers also tend to impact what programming is offered.

What are the future directions of the interest group?

There is interest in doing more remotely with programming and presentations. The rotation of chairs and vice-chairs keep the direction changing as leaders change. At the same time, we are interested in how library metadata enables the powerful search capabilities that make catalogs different from search engines, as well as how that strength can be preserved.

What upcoming programming, publications, or initiatives would you like to share with readers of ALCTS News?

The group does not have any publications at present. The Catalog Form and Function Interest Group has programs at the ALA Annual Conference. In the past we also had meetings at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.  We would like to explore remote options for people to attend programs or present, both because the technology has gotten more reliable and because it would allow even more people to participate.

What’s the best way for ALCTS members to get involved with Catalog Form and Function Interest Group?

Attend programs, volunteer for chair or co-chair, apply to present at a program, or suggest program topics or speakers!

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