As a side note to this, the communication issue is not unique between catalogers and coders. It is a common discussion topic (librarians vs. IT; emerging technology librarians vs. library coders; even web designers vs. web developers). I hear about this a lot in library conferences. But of course, discussion there is mostly from the librarians' point of view. Since code4lib is unique in that many library coders get together, it would be good to hear the thoughts on this from the coders' point of view as well.
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kelley McGrath
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2011 7:19 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Cataloging4Coders @ C4L12 - We need your brains
I am not by any stretch of the imagination a coder, but I think it would be helpful to have some discussion of common cataloger-coder communication issues. So many cataloger-coder discussions online seem to consist of people talking past each other (although I do think there is a much larger and less vocal common ground in the middle). In addition, I have sometimes seen my cataloger and coder/IT colleagues struggle to communicate with each other and find myself trying to translate. Are there ways to make that translation process easier or cultivate more translators? What do coders wish that catalogers knew about how computers interact with metadata?
I would also be interested in ideas on how to shift the conversation more towards underlying functionality. A central failing of computerized catalogs IMO is that they tend to replicate the literal form and actions of cards and the card catalog rather than tried to find a way to express the underlying functionality of the card catalog in a computer environment. This is also sometimes badly done because the programmers don't understand the point of what they're replicating (although to be fair, what they're trying to work with is often not in a form optimized for a computer environment). Uniform titles in many catalogs are a good example of this.
PS Some of the other emails mention wanting help with understanding where real data differs from what's in specifications or differs over time or for other reasons. Speaking as a reasonably competent cataloger, I would say that, although some things can be anticipated in advance, I find this to inevitably be an iterative process.
PPS I'm looking forward to attending.
On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 11:14 AM, Becky Yoose <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hey folks,
> There's been increasing discussion and interest about cataloging
> around this community (and others like it) for quite a while. I found
> some co-conspirators and we are planning to propose a pre-conference
> on cataloging/library metadata creation geared towards the huddled
> code4lib masses (otherwise known as coders) who are yearning for
> knowledge of this Darkest of Library Arts.
> We need you help before we post our proposal. We realize that there's
> a wide range of cataloging knowledge and experience in the community,
> and we want to make sure that those interested get the most out of the
> pre-conference. If this pre-conference has perked your interest, can
> you help us in letting us know:
> - What experience do you have with cataloging/library metadata creation?
> - What do you want us to cover? Do you have any questions that you
> want covered?
> This information will help us greatly in how we structure the
> pre-conference both in content and schedule. For now, we're planning a
> half-day pre-conference, but if there's enough interest between
> beginners and more experienced folks, we will consider offering two
> half-day preconferences in order to focus on specific participant needs.
> Feel free to ask questions as well - I'll try to answer them as best
> as possible given what our group has brainstormed so far.
> Thanks for reading,
> Official cat[aloger] herder
> Becky Yoose
> Systems Librarian
> Grinnell College Libraries
> [log in to unmask]