Catablog: 5 of My Favourite Things About Cataloguing at Digitales

Joining us today for the first time as Digitales’ official Catablogger is our Cataloguing Team Lead, Jennifer. Each month, she’ll share calaloguing tips and experiences with you on the blog.

Today she shares a little about her team and 5 of her favourite things about cataloguing at Digitales:

A Little About Cataloguing at Digitales

We have eight cataloguers on staff, all with library qualifications, which in my experience is rare for a library supplier. We also have a trainee who’s learning the ropes in between his other duties. I’ve worked at libraries in the past, and found that life on the supplier side opens up a whole new working environment and a unique set of challenges.


Here are 5 of my favourite things about cataloguing at Digitales:

1. Diversity

Together we have experience in all sectors of the library industry, from public and state libraries to corporate and special libraries. We have a range of education levels, ages and life experiences, which means we bring a range of perspectives to our cataloguing practice. The team includes native speakers of Chinese, Korean and Japanese, along with speakers and students of Russian, Hebrew and a smattering of other languages. This is invaluable when we catalogue world music and cinema!

2. Variety

Cataloguing for a number of libraries makes Digitales a much more dynamic working environment than most technical services departments. Life is never boring. Most of us work remotely in more than one Library Management System, as well as manipulating raw MARC files. It means being flexible and really getting to understanding the impact of each element of a MARC record.

3. Pop Culture Mayhem

My background is in Special Libraries, primarily in engineering and finance. So for me, cataloguing popular entertainment is a breath of fresh air. It comes with its own special moments, too. Horror films are especially, shall we say, interesting… And we get to use the best subject headings – one of my all-time favourites is “Varmint hunting,” which I used for this Discovery Channel reality show.

4. Cataloguing as a Customer Service

As a cataloguer, it’s easy to get obsessive about detail. My cataloguing teacher at Box Hill Institute called this “getting excited about full stops” and it can be a good thing, but sometimes it obscures the real purpose of cataloguing: making library resources more discoverable. Working with a supplier, we really get to see cataloguing as a customer service. It’s not just about what’s technically correct, it’s about what’s right for each library and its patrons.

5. Sharing the Love of Music, Film and Television

The team shares a passion for all areas of music and cinema, from Classical to K-Pop, from American indie films to classic science fiction to Japanese anime, and much more. I’ve discovered new movies, TV shows and bands since I started here that I would otherwise never have known about. And being able to discuss them with my colleagues is like going to the AV equivalent of a book club every day.


I look forward to sharing more cataloguing information and experiences with you. If there’s something in particular you’d like to hear about, please let me know in the comments.