ASSOCIATES (vol. 3, no. 3, March 1997) -

Table of Contents

                         Barbara Taylor
                       Original Cataloger
                       Cornell University

About a year ago, my supervisor suggested that I might like to go
to the Basic Cataloging Institute, sponsored by the American
Association of Law Librarians (AALL), at Notre Dame University,
South Bend, Indiana.  This would be "an introduction to law
cataloging for catalogers with any level of expertise just
entering law libraries."  This described me, as I had been a copy
cataloger for thirteen years but had moved to original cataloging
in the Law Library about six months earlier.  I had been at
Cornell for thirteen and a half years and had never known a
paraprofessional to go for training outside the state.  I was
also under the impression that I would not be funded.  I decided
that it wouldn't hurt to try, so with my supervisor's blessing, I
applied for three grants outside my institution.  In fact, I
received all three grants:  the Gormley Miller Scholarship,
sponsored by the South Central Research Library Council, SCRLC
Trust; The New York State Library Assistants Association
Enrichment Fund; and the Friends of the Tompkins County Public
Library Grant.  After I received these, Cornell gave me the rest
of the money for the trip.  Being frugal, I booked a train to
South Bend.
I remember standing at midnight waiting for the train, thinking
how romantic it was.  The romance wore off quickly as the reality
of trying to sleep in a train coach set in.  Sleeping in a train
is not very comfortable or quiet.  After a while I adjusted to my
situation and enjoyed the train ride passing by the Great Lakes.
I arrived in South Bend in the morning and was lucky to have no
trouble getting a taxi to take me to the hotel at Notre Dame
University.  The taxi driver took me by way of downtown and
showed me some of the sites on the way.  The Morris Inn on the
campus is a wonderful Inn with very nice rooms.  I had no trouble
getting my room and settling in.  As I came downstairs, I heard
my name being called.  It was a friend who, seven years ago, had
left Cornell for California.  As it turned out, she was a law
cataloger at a law school in Los Angeles.  I also met up with my
supervisor from Cornell, who was also attending and teaching at
the Institute.
The classes were started right after lunch at the Inn.  Each
session was one and a half hours long.  The first afternoon was
devoted to AACRII. These sessions reviewed the rules that
pertained particularly to law cataloging.  I was very tired after
the train trip and all the activities, so I went to bed after the
reception and dinner.
The next morning I woke to find out that Flight 800 had gone down
and, of course, it was the topic of breakfast conversation.  I
sighed quietly to myself, relieved that I had taken the train.
Thursday was a very busy day.  There were four sessions during
the day: serials cataloging, subject analysis, classification,
authority work; and an evening barbeque, followed by a session on
replacements, superseded materials, supplements, additional
pamphlets, dead serials, and maintenance and retention in law
libraries, all over dessert!
On Friday we were to leave at 2:30, but not before sessions on
loose leafs and non-book formats.  My train did not leave until
after 9:30 pm so that after the program was over and the majority
of participants had left for the AALL conference in Indianapolis,
I had time to wander around the Notre Dame campus and to reflect
on the Institute.  It is important to say that I felt quite at
home in this group of professional librarians, some of whom are
nationally known in their field.  I learned a great deal from the
other participants as well as in the sessions.
I would encourage any paraprofessional who has the chance to go
to national meetings in his/her field not to let these
opportunities slip away.  They are not only informative, but fun.