6.4 Statement of Expectations Regarding Knowledge and Skills for Professional Catalogers

All professional catalogers are expected to master the most current version of the following tools and protocols, demonstrate ability to apply these tools in creating and maintaining catalog records, and remain current on updates, revisions, developments, and amendments to these tools.

  • RDA (Resource Description and Access)
  • LCPCC policy statements particularly those corresponding to guidelines in RDA for individual assignment.
  • MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data, with special attention to its application to the assigned specialty
  • MARC 21 Format for Authority Data, with special attention to its application to the assigned specialty.
  • Library of Congress subject headings, and guidelines for application covered in the Subject Heading Manual found in Cataloger’s Desktop.
  • The Library of Congress classification scheme, appropriate LC schedules, and guidelines for shelf listing as found in Classification Web and Subject Heading Manual.
  • Procedures for creating and maintaining catalog records in OCLC and the local library system including identifying records in OCLC and other resources, and for transferring copy to the local system and from the local system to appropriate repositories.
  • Standards established in cooperative programs in which we participate including NACO, SACO, BIBCO, CONSER.
  • Department policies as outlined in the department manual.

In addition to the above general areas of knowledge, catalogers are expected to know and use important tools and resources relevant to their specific assignments. For example:

  • Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
  • Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials
  • Dublin Core
  • Encoded Archival Description (EAD) and related standards
  • Local classification schemes including Mormon Classification Schedules.

Catalogers are also expected to be familiar with several standards and developments including:

  • Linked data concepts (e.g., RDF, XML)
  • METS/MODS/HTML, etc.

The primary responsibility for acquiring the knowledge and skills lies with the individual cataloger. These are developed through personal study, practice, workshops, and other training. The department and the library provide time and resources for continuing professional education, as well as initial training in cataloging fundamentals at the time of hire. Supervisors should help new catalogers assess their levels of knowledge and skill and set appropriate goals to bring about improvement.


Maintained by: John Wright

Last Updated: October 2020

Location / Hours

The Catalog Department is located on Level 6 of the Harold B. Lee Library. The Department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.