Title of current position:
Cataloging & Metadata Education Librarian
Please provide a brief description of your job including a general overview of your responsibilities.
I develop training and provide continuing education for working librarians, especially catalogers. This includes giving webinars, hosting workshops, and presenting at conferences as well as working one-on-one with individuals.
How did you choose your specialty (i.e. music cataloger, metadata specialist, technical service manager, etc.)?
Cataloging always seemed to fit me perfectly. I worked in a small academic library where we all had to wear several hats and discovered I really liked instruction. Now I get to play to both of those strengths!
What specific skills, aptitudes, training, or education does your specialty require?
One of my most useful skills is the ability to distill complex information into digestible pieces. That combined with my cataloging training enables me to do my job well.
In what ways did your formal education prepare you for your career? What did you need to learn outside of this?
My MLIS coursework gave me a solid foundations in the principles and practice of cataloging. The training side of my career was something I came to later and so I pursued those skills outside of a formal education setting.
What do you find rewarding in your career?
I love the moments when I explain a difficult concept and get to see my trainees say “aha! now I get it!”
What do you find challenging in your career?
It can be difficult to approach complex ideas in a way that doesn’t assume too much prior knowledge. Yes, I am working with people in the cataloging world, but many of my participants come from tiny and/or rural situations in which they may not have had much training or the resources to learn on their own.
How do you keep up with trends in the field (i.e. involvement in professional organizations, email lists, publishing and research, professional reading, etc.)?
I follow lots of email lists, I am active in the ALCTS division of ALA, and I try to read some of the scholarly journals when I can. I read both cataloging and training-centered materials.
What advice do you have for those considering a career in your specialty?
Even if it doesn’t sound like something you’re planning on pursuing, take whatever development opportunities you get. You never know what will come to be relevant later—and if it doesn’t turn out to be relevant to your career, it never hurts to know a little something new.
How do you strive for a work-life balance? Do you have any hobbies or interests outside work?
One of the best things I do is ride my bike to work. That gives me 30–45 minutes of fresh air and exercise before and after my day, and it’s a really great chance to think through problems or decompress after a stressful day. I also do lots of crossword puzzles—and I am about to compete in the Minnesota Crossword Tournament for the third straight year!
This career profile is one of 14 developed by the Cataloging & Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) Recruitment & Mentoring Committee in 2017. To view a list of all profiles, see Career Profiles in Cataloging, Metadata, & Related Fields.