Days like this. September 20, 2007Posted by Minerva in cataloging.
This evening I read the post “It takes a special soul to be a cataloger” by Jenica P. Rogers-Urbanek at her Attempting Elegance blog. At first, the snarky side of me wanted the title to read “You must be some kind of nut to be a cataloger,” or “It takes a special something, alright.” (It’s been a long day, bear with me.) But then I read the tale of this librarian, first a cataloger and now a manager, as she chronicled the return of cataloging to her workday.
I’ve learned that, with my current work, I get up in the morning, energized, and need to use the first half-hour of my day doing some basic household tasks, because when I get home after 8 to 10 hours of library management, I’m exhausted. Bone-deep weariness. Four hours of sustained work on budgets, book selection, project management, and communication leaves me feeling like I’ve been wrung out and hung up to dry. But four hours of cataloging? Is nothing. Headphones, some good music, and an organized workstation and I’m good to go for days on end. Cataloging is fun. And easy. And makes sense to me.
Cataloging has become (in a small way) part of her library work again.
I don’t entirely agree with the descriptions of cataloging as fun or easy, or that it makes sense. It’s not particularly any of those things if you’re trying to assign subject headings for a thesis on the genetic sequencing analysis of leeches. (And I’m not the science type.) But sometimes, after you’ve managed to crack whatever enigma’s been thrown at you, it is fun. And rather rewarding. That didn’t happen with me today. But reading Jenica’s post made my earlier frustrations melt away. As for the leeches, I’ll think about them tomorrow.