Monday, December 16, 2013

Making fun of catalogers

A couple of weeks ago, I watched a webinar on discovery layers. It was informative and interesting, but one comment caused my mind to wander.  In a discussion of metadata, one participant said that catalogers don't like any metadata that they didn't do themselves.

This got me wondering if catalogers are the subject of more jokes than other library specialties. It seems to me, without doing any research to back this up, that they are. And if that's true, why?  Do catalogers have some sort of aura that make them easy to poke fun at?  Or are they viewed as a breed apart? 

I definitely felt the otherness of catalogers early in my library career.  I was working in acquisitions in a large room that we shared with the cataloging staff.  Acquisitions folks were always admonished to keep the noise down so that The Catalogers (I always thought of it in caps) could concentrate.  This caused me, for awhile anyway, to view The Catalogers as somehow separate and different.  I got over that fairly quickly when one of The Catalogers kidnapped a stuffed basset hound that one of the reference librarians had at her desk and paraded gleefully through Tech Services. 

Has anyone else noticed lots of cataloging jokes? 

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