This past Saturday I continued to catalog in-house the collection at the Audubon Center. Anna served the cause remotely from a hot spot on the Washington Coast (putting in valuable time during her vacation) by researching batch edits, problem books, and tackling the children’s collection. I was able to train one of the staff members of the Center, Joey, on basic cataloging too. Additionally, Anna drafted some original tutorial documents for basic cataloging with OPALS, and I was able revise the documents for future release.
Where are we and where are we going? We still have about a third of the collection to catalog, and yet most of the materials of the remaining section are local resources. These will require a lot of “original” or manual cataloging, where the Library of Congress won’t be there to save us with current records. While I hope that this process goes smoothly, I foresee it as being a fundamentally challenging and educationally-rewarding opportunity. I personally don’t have much cataloging experience (at least where MARC is concerned) aside from my wonderful course last quarter and the oodles of readings I’ve dived through out of personal interest.
When thinking about our work at Seward Park, it’s important to understand the foundation of the library, but also ensure that the catalog can be accessed and evolved down the line. This is the importance of training and education. Proper communication between Anna and myself and the rest of the team at the center ensures that goals are realistic and timelines are healthy. The unification between all the stakeholders is important to continue the initial vision established with the beginning of this independent study.
We still have many challenges left. We still need to finish the catalog, revise the training documents (and test them), and craft a collection development policy (more on that in a future writing). We should also have discussions about advocacy, as well as how we will advertise the library to the community (I recently reached out to the Rainier Valley Post about a potential chat). While there is plenty to do, we’re no longer looking at this project as being restricted to the quarter. The goal of the quarter has been the ILS and the cataloging, but we will be able to do so much more once we’ve reached that initial goal.