Friday, February 13, 2004

SHHHH!



I have come to the conclusion that hot sass mouthed librarians might want to reconsider the field of cataloguing. I have come up with a brand new term for talkative people working in this field: chataloguers.

No matter how hard I try, I can not be quiet. I have lots of questions, and of all the positions you could have in a library, cataloguing seems to need a talkative kind of person. Job descriptions always mention "stong independent work skills", and "the quiet nature of the work". Thats nuts. You have to ask each other questions. Plus, I don't think it will hurt to have a hotsy totsy cataloguer in the back. No pun intended.

I realized this in my cataloguing class. There are about 6 of us that are extremely eager to enter our profession. We ask a lot of questions, and have even been called "too eager". I think that is hilarious. This raises another point: are eager librarian grad students even nerdier than the average library student?

When I think of cataloguers, I think of dimly lit back room offices, filled with AARC2 directories, and LOC supplements, scattered coffee cups, and lots of post it notes stuck everywhere. My ideal office looks a little like this: . Lovely things with lots of dark wood and just enough leather. I want a wide desk, with a big book case, perhaps a grandfather clock stuck in a corner just to help me keep track of the time. I also think that that I'll need to have a coffee service to take my coffee in.

That way if someone happens to drop in on me during the middle of a Tamara de Lempicka cataloguing job, I'll be able to take a minute away from life, and sip some nice strong black french coffee. Sotheby's can handle an office mate like me, so can Phillips . But can a public library handle me? I don't know if I can handle them.

But the age of the talkative, fashionable cataloguer is here. We maybe out of sight, but we won't be out of mind. We'll be the talk of the staff canteen (please don't call it the break room, it makes my skin crawl), and patrons will come in asking over us. The era has arrived when patrons will walk up to the desk and say, "You know, I might never have found this book if it weren't for the excellent cataloguing job!" And we can sit back and enjoy ourselves watching well appointed patrons walk though our collections, finding everything as if they had GPS in their Louis Vuitton pocketbook (again, please don't call them purses, it makes my skin crawl).

Cataloguers, its time to polish our loafers, make sure that dimple in our tie is perfect, adjust our french cuffs, and uncap our Watermans. We've got some posh cataloguing to do. I may become the Letitia Baldrige of cataloguing, but I don't care. Someone has to do it, and it might as well be me.

Moral of this blog: MARC also stand for Marvelously Appointed & Refined Cataloguer.

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