FAQ: What Does a Library Cataloger Do?

When it comes to library services and resources, catalogers play an integral role in helping library patrons find the materials they need. Library catalogers are tasked with creating, managing, and organizing catalogs of library holdings. They are responsible for making sure the library’s collections are easy to find and access. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the key duties and responsibilities of a library cataloger and explore the skills and qualifications needed to work in this profession. We’ll also look at the typical salary and career prospects for catalogers. By understanding what a cataloger does and the library environment more broadly, readers will have an informed perspective of the role of a cataloger and the impact they have on a community’s access to knowledge resources.

The responsibilities of a cataloger include managing inventories, keeping correct records of books and documenting the inventory of other materials at a library. Catalogers may also update cataloging database systems and keywords so guests can easily find resources and materials.

What is a library catalog?

All of the bibliographic materials in a library are listed in the catalog. Library catalogs give users information about the resources that are available in a library and give a short description of those resources along with their locations. When researching content pertaining to a specific author, subject, illustration, or title, this aids users in finding items quickly.

There are four forms of library catalogs:

What is a library cataloger?

An individual who archives and maintains books, print media, videos, and other informational resources in a library or other similar facility is known as a library cataloger. Catalogers create and maintain dependable catalogs using their knowledge of library science. These catalogs help enhance a library users search experience.

Catalogers use the following techniques to catalog bibliographic records accurately:

What is the work environment like for a library cataloger?

The majority of the time, library catalogers work in libraries, but they may also be employed by other businesses or institutions that maintain extensive data catalogs. They could also work in museums, government organizations, hospitals, and universities. Library catalogers usually work 40 hours per week. To carry out their daily tasks, they might also collaborate with volunteers, library assistants, and library technicians.

What does a library cataloger do?

A cataloger’s duties include managing inventories, maintaining accurate book records, and recording the inventory of other library materials. To make it easier for visitors to find resources and materials, catalogers may also update cataloging database systems and keywords.

Some other duties a library cataloger may perform include:

Online public access: This is a repository of resources and library materials.

What skills do you need as a library cataloger?

Library catalogers use a variety of skills throughout the course of the day to properly arrange bibliographic data while entering documents into a catalog. Here are some skills of successful library catalogers:

Critical thinking

Critical thinking involves evaluating data to determine its accuracy. Critical thinking abilities can be used by a library cataloger to interpret and precisely record data for a library catalog. They often analyze data regarding new resources asses their reliability. This can assist a cataloger in making defensible choices regarding which resources to add to the database.


Excellent research skills are frequently possessed by library catalogers, which aid in their discovery of fresh resources for the catalog. Finding information about fresh books or sources, examining them to ascertain their veracity, and deciding whether the information is accurate are some of their research techniques. These abilities can also assist them in learning how to use technology, such as cataloging software, to facilitate conducting and documenting research.

Computer literacy

Since online public access catalogs are so popular, library catalogers must be computer literate. Every day, library catalogers use their computer skills to update databases, which may involve adding new books or resources to the catalog or changing the descriptions of existing resources. When updating the collection of library materials, they also access cataloging software using computers and other technology equipment.

Do you need a degree to become a library cataloger?

Many library cataloger positions require a master’s degree in library science, but some hiring managers also accept applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field of study. A student pursuing a library science degree program might examine book preservation, archive management, and cataloging research techniques. Depending on their location and state requirements, some cataloger positions might also need additional education. This additional education could involve attending workshops or online classes to learn how to gather and create catalogs.

What is the average salary and job outlook for a library cataloger?

Although a librarian and a library cataloger perform many of the same tasks, their respective roles’ goals differ. A cataloger is in charge of a librarys data management. They are also in charge of updating a library’s collection of resources and seeking out new ones.

Librarians, conversely, oversee a librarys daily operations. Utilizing library software, supplying users with resources, and managing customer service are all included. Additionally, they oversee library staff, keep track of budgets for purchasing new books, and assist library users in finding and borrowing books.

What is Cataloging at the Library?


What is the role of a cataloger?

A cataloger usually works in a library or other similar setting, cataloguing the materials there. Your responsibilities as a cataloger include maintaining accurate records of the books and other materials the facility has available and managing inventory.

What are the qualifications for a library cataloger?

Requirements: Practical familiarity with the operations of public libraries and their holdings; familiarity with the Library of Congress Subject Headings; familiarity with the Machine Readable Cataloging Records (MARC); familiarity with the Dewey Decimal Classification system; familiarity with the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC); and familiarity with PC and MS Excel.

What is cataloger?

A cataloger is someone who records items in an ordered list and is in charge of cataloging them. Occasionally, the words “catalog” and “cataloger” are spelled similarly. A catalog is another name for the list that the cataloger compiles.

What is a professional cataloger?

A cataloger, or professional librarian, is described as “a librarian who is principally responsible for preparing bibliographic records to represent the items acquired by a library, including bibliographic description, subject analysis, and classification” by ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science.

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