Forget Gaming Librarian we need a gaming cataloger

I’m returning from the Games Learning and Libraries Symposium sponsered by ALA techsource, and organized by the amazing Jenny Levine.

Many of the presentations focused on having gaming programs, and integrating gaming into current services. In many of the sessions I attended presenters would mention that they advocate teen services to their staff as well as community in an effort to help the entire library staff be on board with the innovation that teens need. I’ve seen so many libraries have great success with everyone on board, but what I’ve really seen lacking is projects to make our catalogs effective for the needs of teens. Currently at my library acquisitions is discussing where to store Anime. Right now its in three different sections: Family, Special Interest, and Sci/Fi. They don’t have a common subject heading so it can be difficult to get a feel for what Anime we have at our library.

I’ve noticed as well that gaming is also a topic that has cataloging issues. Since games don’t have ISBNs it makes it difficult to fit into the current MARC record, and we have fixed that problem by making them up. That isn’t the most effective way to handle this, and I wonder what would happen if we had gamers create our catalog/organizer our library?

Perry Branch Library in Gilbert, AZ change the library’s collection to be similar to a Barnes and Noble store. Other libraries have change the catalog to allow tagging, and more Web 2.0 interfaces, but still what if we started attracting a different audience to the job of cataloger.

About Jami Schwarzwalder

Currently a teen librarian with the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA.She is passionate about technology, making, and learning. See what I'm up to at https://about.me/jamischwarzwalder
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