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,
> Becky
> Official cat[aloger] herder
> ---------------------------------------
> Becky Yoose
> Systems Librarian
> Grinnell College Libraries
> [log in to unmask]