Photo of Nerissa Lindsey, head of content organization and management at San Diego State University, during a panel on gender and ethics in open knowledge platforms.

Too Much Information?

June 26, 2022

A research team surveyed participants in the Program for Collaborative Cataloging’s Wikidata Pilot Project to explore how galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (collectively referred to as GLAM institutions) are navigating these ethical issues. Members presented the findings, to be published this summer in the journal KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies, in the session … Continue reading Too Much Information?


Photo of Cameron Socha, who graduates this year from Wayne State University’s School of Information Sciences, posing in front of a mural in Detroit. He collaborated with his professor Joan Beaudoin to catalog local murals.

Mapping the Murals

June 1, 2022

Detroit’s murals are incredible cultural resources that speak to the vibrant artistic spirit of the city and its people. When I was first driving around the city as a newcomer, I’d see murals and public art installations and look for information about them online. Some websites and apps included notes about the murals, but they … Continue reading Mapping the Murals


ALA logo

Library of Congress Changes Illegal Aliens Subject Heading

November 12, 2021

The American Library Association (ALA) praised the Library of Congress’s decision to update the cataloging subject headings aliens and illegal aliens. The Policy and Standards Division of the Library of Congress, which maintains Library of Congress Subject Headings, announced the decision to replace the terms with new subject headings noncitizens and illegal immigration at its … Continue reading Library of Congress Changes Illegal Aliens Subject Heading


Text graphic showing possible changes to Library of Congress Subject Headings, such as "undocumented immigrant" for "illegal alien."

Decolonizing the Catalog

November 1, 2021

The panelists included Elizabeth Hobart, special collections cataloging librarian at Penn State University; Staci Ross, cataloging and metadata librarian at University of Pittsburgh; Michelle Cronquist, special collections cataloger at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Kelly Farrell, program officer for the Triangle Research Libraries Network, a consortium of academic libraries in North Carolina. … Continue reading Decolonizing the Catalog



What's in a name: LGBTQ+ and Latinx perspectives on access

What’s in a Naming Term?

June 26, 2021

Access language—subject headings, naming terms, and search terms—reflect the values, priorities, and assumptions of their creators, and often demean or pathologize marginalized groups. The complexity of solving these issues—if they are solvable—was explored in “What’s in a name?: LGBTQ+ and Latinx perspectives on access terminology—challenges and solutions,” on Saturday, June 26, as part of the … Continue reading What’s in a Naming Term?


Conscientious Cataloging

September 1, 2020

Tired of the delays, some librarians have taken matters into their own hands by making the change in their own catalogs, without waiting for LC to take the lead. Communicating inclusion Two early adopters of the change: Sol López, technical services manager at the Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center (HSLIC) at University of New … Continue reading Conscientious Cataloging


Honoring and Respecting Relationship: Rethinking Library Praxis

Decolonizing Knowledge

June 25, 2020

Camille Callison, Indigenous strategies librarian at University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, commenced the American Indian Library Association President’s Program “Honoring and Respecting Relationship: Rethinking Library Praxis” June 25 at ALA Virtual by introducing herself as member of the Tahltan Nation and recapping some of the racist and problematic actions Canada has inflicted upon Indigenous people. … Continue reading Decolonizing Knowledge


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

A Librarian’s Good-Bye

June 3, 2019

In 1970, I was working in book receipts at Boston Public Library and just beginning to consider library school when I expressed an interest in cataloging during a coffee break with colleagues. Bill Crowe, who became dean of University of Kansas Libraries, suggested Cataloging USA, by Paul S. Dunkin, published by the American Library Association … Continue reading A Librarian’s Good-Bye


Presenters at “Reclaiming Subject Access to Indigenous Knowledge,” a session during the International Federation of Library Associations’ 2016 World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

Removing Barriers to Indigenous Knowledge

August 18, 2016

Librarians from the Philippines, Canada, and the United States discussed their research on the barriers to accessing indigenous materials, ideas to modify metadata and subject headings, and obstacles to implementing new cataloging and classification systems. Cristina Villanueva, librarian at the University of the Philippines Baguio, presented her findings on classifying and indexing Philippine indigenous materials, … Continue reading Removing Barriers to Indigenous Knowledge


A woman using the card catalog at the main reading room of the Library of Congress, circa 1940.

The Evolving Catalog

January 4, 2016

Today when we say “technology,” it is often shorthand for “computer technology.” Of course this is not the only technology in our lives, but it is the one that defines our modern age. A century and a half ago, the defining technology was electricity and all things electric. The light bulb was literally the bright … Continue reading The Evolving Catalog


Joseph Janes

The Last Card

January 4, 2016

Ah, the memories that flooded back when we all heard the recent news that OCLC had printed the last run of catalog cards. If asked, I would’ve confidently assumed that had finished up long ago. An OCLC press release told us that since 1971, the company had produced 1.9 billion cards. My rough calculations give … Continue reading The Last Card