A Trio of Baylor Librarians Set Professional Standards

April 19, 2017

For many years, Bruce Evans, Assistant Director for Delivery Services, and Allison Yanos, Assistant Librarian for Delivery Services, have exemplified the ideals of their profession. Thanks to their recent efforts other cataloging librarians across the country now have the opportunity to aspire toward these same ideals.

At the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting held in Atlanta, the Board of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) officially endorsed a report authored by a task force led by Bruce Evans and that included Allison Yanos. The report, “Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians,” defines the baseline skills, abilities, and behaviors for professional librarians engaged in cataloging and metadata activities regardless of institution type. According to a release from the ALA, "The document is useful to managers and supervisors in their hiring, assessment, and review decisions, to library and information science students in making informed educational and internship choices and to library and information science educators for curriculum and course development."

The full report is available on the ALA website: https://alair.ala.org/handle/11213/7853.

Kara Long, Metadata and Catalog Librarian for Delivery Services, also made her mark in a recent publication in Cataloging and Classification Quarterly, long considered the gold standard in the world of professional cataloging librarianship.

The article, "The 'Wicked Problem' of Neutral Descriptions: Toward a Documentation Approach to Metadata Standards," was co-authored with colleagues from other Texas universities and was inspired by the work of the Texas Digital Library (TDL) Metadata Working Group. This group was convened in 2014 and charged with updating the existing descriptive metadata standards for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) originally published by TDL in 2008. The Metadata Working Group published revised guidelines and an accompanying data dictionary in 2015. This article reviews the work of the group using a “wicked problems” framework that acknowledges the constructed nature of our metadata standards as “clumsy solutions.” As such, the authors argue for a documentation-driven approach to metadata design that considers the design and development of digital content platforms, such as DSpace and others, as a necessary constraint on and driver of metadata formation.

The full article is available at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01639374.2016.1278419 (abstract available; full article requires institutional license or subscription)

These contributions to the advancement of librarianship demonstrate the quality of library faculty and staff that support the success of Baylor faculty and students through the Baylor Libraries.