There’s a good chance that I might begin a directed study on FRBR (i.e. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) in January, my last term of classes in library school. I’m pushing for this in part because I’m not enthused about the course options for winter term, but mostly because I’m not comfortable with the level of knowledge I have on the organization of data and records to feel qualified to apply for a job in the sub-field. One might say librarianship is all about teaching nowadays, and to a certain degree I would concur (although I do bow to the “jack of all trades” argument when the argument does arise). However, so much of what librarianship has been, and will continue to be in the future is the organization of information. Some one out there has got to get down to task and develop massive storehouses and systems of data, and our skills and training should make us well-equipped. But right now, I definitely feel that I need to learn more if I want to have any chance at work in this side of the profession.
Anyway, to prepare for the FRBR course, I’ve begun some preliminary reading. I’m acquainting myself with things like FRBR and FRAD, as well as RDF – I want to see the Big Picture by way of this class, and I want it to help me be able to make macro-level decisions and policy statements at my future workplace, if not contribute to the cause itself. I think it would be interesting to work in this field, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I hadn’t recently broadened my career searches to include work that involves metadata. But here’s the hitch – without sounding like some sort of unknowing student (because i actually do know a thing or two – not three or four, i confess, just one or two), I really don’t know as much as I want to when it comes to working in the metadata field. When I look at job postings in this area, I notice that most of them demand X number of years of cataloguing experience, yet it seems that fewer professional librarians are doing this kind of on a regular basis anymore (i.e. it is a role filled more and more by Lib.Tech’s). Now, without the skills or the desire to do strict cataloguing, I wonder how I might ever become a dyed-in-the-wool info.organization sage. I suppose a little more reading and a little more time ruminating will naturally lead to answers and wisdom on this one. I’ll keep you posted.
Finally, for some mind-blowing entertainment this weekend I scanned some of my FRBR notes – feel free to consider my cribnotes from Arlene Taylor’s Understanding FRBR (2007), at least the first chapter. At the very least you can make a character sketch of me from my poor penmanship..