Connecting the Dots: Cataloging and Metadata, The Interview Edition


On today’s reading list, we have a(nother) terrific, inspiring post from Hack Library School. As a library assistant and then a reference librarian, I have seen first-hand how the quality of the catalog impacts the user’s experience of a library. In more ambitious moments, I have gone off on “If I was in charge of this catalog” rants. These usually subside with the sad realization that I have DC experience and one Organization of Information class behind me, but no cataloging coursework. But Williams didn’t begin cataloging with a cataloging course under his belt either…maybe there’s hope for me after all!


For the next installment in our technical services mini-series, I’m delighted to introduce long-time HLS commenters and all-around great guys,  Jason W. Dean and Elliot D. Williams. When I was first starting library school, I basically cold-called both Elliot and Jason to ask about their experiences and advice, and they’ve both been incredibly generous with their time and encouragement, so I couldn’t resist asking them few more questions on behalf of HLS readers. Jason is the Head of the Special Formats Cataloging Unit at the University of Arkansas Libraries in Fayetteville, and Elliot is the Metadata Librarian at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, FL.

Please note: I’ve edited their responses slightly for length.

First of all, tell us a little about your background.

ElliotWilliams1-240x300Elliot: I think the most important piece of context for this conversation is that when I was in grad school at the University of Texas iSchool, I…

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