If you've been reading this blog for a while you probably know that I have a positive take on the future of catalogers and metadata librarians. Rather than being outsourced or eliminated, I think our skills are going to be in high demand.
Most catalogers have the important skill set already: experience with structured data and standards, good analytical skills, the ever necessary discipline of being attentive to details, etc. But these skills have to be upgraded. We definitely can't rest on our laurels.
So, here's what I've done so far to prepare for the future now:
- Every time they're offered locally, I take the Cataloging for the 21st Century workshops. So far I've taken Rules & Tools for Cataloging Internet Resources and Metadata Standards & Applications (a must if you want to acquire metadata-speak)
- I've been teaching myself XML using O'Reilly computer books
- As time permits, I read about different metadata schemas (especially the ones we use at the library)
- I've collaborated with the staff in Special Collections on a digital project (of course, this is the ideal, but not always possible)
What I'd like to do in the future:
- My colleague, Nicole Engard, suggested learning systems analysis/theory
- I'd actually like to try my hand at a little computer programming
I'm working on gathering resources on this issue as our profession takes this digital turn. What are the essential skills we need? What do you think?