On Friday, 6 December 2019, a group of MLIS students and I welcomed an invited speaker in our last class of Fall 2019 academic term. Doug Williams, Cataloguer at the London Public Libraries (LPL) Central Branch, agreed to come to Western University and give us a talk about his work from the point of view of the professional with more than 10 years of experience in libraries. Doug is a graduate of FIMS from early 2000s, with teaching background, strong public librarian track-record at the reference desk, and recently, with 3+ years of cataloging experience at LPL. His talk was entitled "A day in the life of a Cataloguer" and he addressed important practical issues and thoughtfully and methodically described different roles that librarians and library assistants play in his LPL department in order to make sure that the library resources are properly processed and reach their patrons. He interspersed his workflow explanations with illustrations of cataloguing tools and made this information relatable with personal stories. He knowledgeably answered every single question the group through at him during the informal Q&A session.
What needs to happen for any library material to make its way onto the library bookshelf, into its catalogue? Who does what to connect the resources and the patrons? How are books processed?
As the instructor of this group of students, I felt that Doug was articulate, relatable, and actually quite entertaining. Most importantly, he was a superb resource for MLIS students who are just discovering what happens in the field of Information Organization and Access in Library and Information Science.
I would very much like to thank Doug and welcome him back for another guest talk at FIMS in the future, perhaps with an update and other colleague perspectives. I truly hope this FIMS-LPL relationship continues to flourish!
Doug had a group picture in his slideshow in which the LPL Collections Department is saying "Hi!" from behind their working spaces. We thought we'd reciprocate with a "Hi from FIMS MLIS!" from our classroom with gratitude for their much needed work to connect the library resources and library patrons!
Fall 2019 LIS9002 Dr. Rubin's Class waving "Hellos to LPL!" with Doug Williams (in the middle).
[Photo credits: Alex Mayhew]