Social Sciences Cataloging And Metadata Librarian (Female, Age 38) in Philadelphia, PA
This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 38 who works as a Social Sciences Cataloging And Metadata Librarian in Philadelphia, PA. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.
At a Glance
Basic data on your current job
|Job Title||Social Sciences Cataloging And Metadata Librarian|
|Other Compensation||None Set|
|Company Size||(not answered)|
|Years Experience||14 years|
Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)
|Years in Career||0|
|Income Rating||0 / 10|
|Interest Rating||0 / 10|
|Work-Life Rating||0 / 10|
|Fulfilment Rating||0 / 10|
Table of Contents
Current job Q&A
Describe the type of organization you work for.
A large (over 20,000 students) private, Ivy League university
Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I catalog materials in a variety of languages and formats, using both national/international rules and local rules, as well as work on a variety of library projects in the technical services
Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
24 vacation days, 8 holidays, 12 sick days, HMO health insurance, dental and vision insurance, 403b plan (non-profit version of a 401k)
Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Generally, my work is solitary in nature, though committee work puts me into contact with others. I need concentration to do my job, but sometimes, that makes my work isolating.
Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Sometimes, but not frequently.
Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Job Title: 4
Level of Responsibility: 2
The Actual Work: 1
A day in the life of…
Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:
|5am to 6am|
|6am to 7am|
|7am to 8am|
|8am to 9am||Work began at 8.30. I checked email and responded to new messages. Mornings are usually very quiet here, unless I am asked to catalog an item being rushed through the system. That did not happen today. When it does, that item takes priority|
|9am to 10am||I began work and finished 2 items that I had not finished cataloging yesterday. That required me to use my local catalog and then to upload my work into a national bibliographic utility. This morning, I worked on finishing 2 books: one on geometry and one on french history|
|10am to 11am||I have a meeting this afternoon with my boss, so I prepared for it by sending email and making phone calls. I am trying to find out about a new computer software program the library might be buying, but no one can get me an answer yet. I spend most of the hour looking over notes I’d taken at past meetings|
|11am to 12pm||I started work on several more books. The library has a new collection of materials donated by someone in the community (past faculty member). He collected in criminology and so he has a lot of old pamphlets and books about prisons, crime, and the law|
|12pm to 1pm||Lunch|
|1pm to 2pm||Still working on the criminology materials. These are older books and no other catalogers have described them so I can’t download records from any other institution. This means the work falls to me and me alone. One of the books is falling apart so I will need to hand deliver it to our post-cataloging office for preservation attention. The item will probably be placed in a box before being put on the shelf|
|2pm to 3pm||I had a 2-hour meeting with a dept. in transition. I am acting as the official note-taker for the meeting, because I have writing skills. I do not work in the depts. being merged together, however, so this makes taking notes difficult.|
|3pm to 4pm||See above|
|4pm to 5pm||I typed up the meeting notes from the last 2 hours. I only have 30 minutes before my day ends, but I wanted to get the notes out to the committee as soon as possible. There is a lot of transition happening right now in my office. Because of the rise of electronic materials (vs. paper materials), the workflow is shifting, and so depts. are merging together and people are assuming new duties. This change needs to be documented as well as possible|
|5pm to 6pm|
|6pm to 7pm|
|7pm to 8pm|
|8pm to 9pm|
|9pm to 10pm|
|10pm to 11pm|
|11pm to 12am|
How you got your job
How did you get your current job?
Listing in a professional journal
What was the application process?
Submitted resume and cover letter in paper form
Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Academic library jobs require a full-day interview on campus, involving both one-on-one sessions (with HR, the Library Director) and group sessions (the successful candidate’s dept.).
If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What’s wrong with the library you work at currently and how would you change it? What skills can you bring to our library?
Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes and no; my employer is committed to offering entry level jobs and providing training but I was paired with a difficult and non-communicative trainer. This was never resolved adequately
Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes, I was under revision from a senior cataloger for a period of 6 months
Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I have an MS,LIS degree from the best school in the country and came to my job well prepared (both academic and work experience)
If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
I worked a practicum in 2 different parts of the library in grad school, but neither was an official internship
If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
An MLS degree is a must. A concentration in technical services/cataloging is also required. Previous work experience (pre- or post-MLS) is also helpful
What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
A wide range of knowledge with an interest in continuing professional development, a committment to the ‘greater good’ (which will rarely result in appreciation or salary increases), attention to detail, an ability to be self-directed
Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes. MLS degree and possibly a second Masters degree
What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Be as professionally active as you can afford to be
Long-term career plans
Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Absolutely; my job is considered a very good one in my field
What are your current career goals?
I am currently taking on more projects at work, and using some outside-of-work skills (like writing and teaching) and folding them into what I do on a day-to-day basis
Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
Prior work history
Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:
|Prior Job 1||Graduate Assistant Copy Cataloger||2 years||$625/month||I worked as a copy cataloger (a half-time graduate assistantship)|
|Prior Job 2||Carrel Clerk||1 year||Student hourly wage||I worked as the Carrel Clerk in the Circulation Dept as a student worker|
Please list your educational background:
High School GPA:5.14
|4.5?||Univ of Illinois Urbana-Champaign||BA, Medieval History and Literature|
|Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
|5||Univ of Illinois Urbana-Champaign||MS, LIS, Library and Information Science|
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