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CODE4LIB  February 2023

CODE4LIB February 2023

Subject:

Re: Systems - to librarian or not to librarian?

From:

Joe Hourclé <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 17 Feb 2023 15:01:44 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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> 
> On Feb 17, 2023, at 10:01 AM, Wu, Jingjing <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Everyone needs to keep learning, either new technologies or knowledge about libraries. I wonder how many people with technology backgrounds but no library experience will apply for a "Systems Librarian" position.


I suspect that it won’t be that many unless they find it via a keyword search, as most IT people wouldn’t know what a ‘systems librarian’ is.

But all of this discussion makes me think-- is there a need for some sort of primer on what a systems librarian should know?

Either coming from the librarian side of things, or from the IT side.

I suspect that much like ‘programmer’ or ‘sysadmin’, there’s a rather wide range of what skills and knowledge are actually required.  The smaller the shop, the more likely that you’re going to need someone who’s a Jack-of-All-Trades instead of a specialist in ILSes.

I would think it might be worth finding / writing some introductory information on ILSes, FRBR, MARC, and whatever else those who actually work in libraries think would be useful (LCSH?  DDC?  SRU?  CQL? I’ve never worked in a library)

Is this something that we could partner with the Carpentry folks for?

And as had been mentioned already, terminology can be a huge problem.  I was working in science data archives, and even between science disciplines we had incompatible use of terms.  Add in the library/archives folks and the compsci/HPC folks and it’s general chaos to try to have conversations.

A decade ago, I put together a glossary of problematic terms, either defining them in a way that everyone could agree to, or flagging the ones that will lead to misunderstanding:

http://virtualsolar.org/vocab

Unfortunately, I got bogged down in other projects and laid off (then brought back as an independent consultant) without ever formally publishing it.

I don’t know if there’s would be a good way to do this virtually… I basically wrote down every term that I thought was weird (didn’t know it, seemed to be used differently than I was used to), then presented a poster at a meeting, and let people add terms and definitions.  After a couple of years of this, we seemed to reach an equilibrium.

We could do part of it with shared online documents, but there was a lot of interviewing people to tease out exactly what they thought was wrong with my definitions.

-Joe

(Civil Engineering undergrad, but worked in IT during the early days of ‘the web’, then got roped into working as a programmer/sysadmin/dba for a science data archive, and got an Information Mgmt degree (but took library classification type stuff for my electives)

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