Cataloging Class

Cataloging class has certainly been an experience! Now that I’m almost done, I can talk about it. There were dark days and bright days this semester.

I had Professor Kathy Royall for the class. She has been super! She is so personable I had to stop myself from calling her by her first name.


The first week I was nearly in tears at seeing how much I had to learn. I felt like I had been dropped in the middle of Russia and didn’t understand anything anyone was saying. There was even a completely different alphabet. Cataloging is really like learning computer code.

Slowly over the next couple weeks, I began to pick up the lingo and understand the basics. By about week 4 I was thinking, I got this! Maybe I’ll be a cataloger one day!

Then midterm hit.

We had an exam that was hard. After that the research paper consumed me. While I was drowning in the research paper, I was trying to update the portfolio. I turned in my research paper and seriously dug into the portfolio assignment. I decided I most certainly would never be a cataloger. I spent probably over 10 hours cataloging 6 items. Insanity! Most people probably wouldn’t take that long, but I’m always slow. Luckily Prof. Royall pushed back the due date on the portfolio to give us some breathing room. #foreverthankful

My brain was fried from all that when Exam 3 hit. Unit 7 & 8 Dewey numbers and Cutter numbers! Something did not click for me. Oh my gosh! I wasn’t able to attend that chat but I watched the recording twice.  Now don’t get me wrong, I can shelve books correctly all day long, but assigning the correct number seems like mindreading to me. The tables confuse me. For most of the numbers on the exam, I was in the correct ballpark. I got the first 3 numbers right for sure. I even got the first 5-6 numbers right. What I missed, when I missed them, was the 7-12th numbers. ugh. Sometimes I wonder if someone put a numbers curse on me. They are the bane of my existence. Give me words all day long. people say assigning Dewey numbers is an art form. This is one art form I’ve not mastered. That really bugs me. I like art. Maybe one day I’ll meet with one of Plano’s catalogers to see if I can learn it from them.  I got an 87 on that exam. My first B. I hope my only B!

Well now, the last thing I have to do is Exam 4. This is less arbitrary. We are back to MARC records but with the RDA rules now. There are rules I can look up. This makes me happy.

For anybody who happens to be reading this, and is about to take this class, the resources I  used for this class are listed here.

Next semester I will take 5000 and 5600. Both require 1 day in Houston. I’m super excited about my little mini getaway for 4 days. I’ve heard 5000 is a challenging class. I’m a bit nervous about working as a teacher full time AND taking two classes. They say 5600 is a light load though so hopefully I’ll be okay.

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