ASSOCIATES (vol. 7, no. 1, July 2000) -

Cat On A Hot Web Tube
(Or Behind The Red Door)


Vicky Diaz
KAM Division
Cataloging Section
James Dickinson Library
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Las Vegas, city of casinos, glitter, glitz and glamour. This is what comes to a person's mind when Las Vegas is mentioned. Indeed this 24-hour town conjures these images, but wait; there is another side to this city. There are churches, schools, grocery stores, and a University, yes, the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). A young and vibrant institution of learning, 20,000 student population strong.

At the center of this University is the James Dickinson Library, two structures connected by a bridge (some people call it a tunnel). The Stacks area is located in the round building; Administration offices, Reference, Circulation and Technical Services in the square building. On the 4th floor of the square building, behind the red door is the Technical Services area (which has now been split in two sections). The Acquisitions, Serials/Periodicals are part of MOR (Materials Ordering Receiving). Cataloging, combined with Systems is known as KAM (Knowledge Access Management). Quit abounds at this locale as the Acquisitions section is busy acquisitioning, the Serials/Periodicals is busy serializing and at the back of the room the Cataloging section is busy cataloging -- NO! hold on a second here, there is something wrong with this picture, the catalogers are not cataloging but are working on WEB pages. Designing, coding and editing WEB pages. Well, folks that scenario is quite right.

At the James Dickinson Library the Cataloging Section personnel, aside from their cataloging duties, are also the web developers for the library (Web Team). The team is comprised of faculty and support staff. They assist various library sections in creating and developing web pages for those sections. A cataloger works with the content originator for that section and has the task of maintaining those assigned pages.

Although this might not be the traditional role of a cataloger, given the technological climate we are in, this is not surprising. Traditional tasks are being incorporated with the new technologies and the combination produces amazing results. This team, for instance, was self taught -- they learned HTML coding by reading various books on that subject and experimented with web designs all to the delight and at times chagrin of everyone involved. It sure was a learning experience. (You should see their first designs; the Smithsonian would die for it!)

Presently, a new library is being built on the campus of UNLV, the Lied Library. At the request of the Dean of Libraries, the team is now in the process of redesigning the library's web pages to coincide with the opening of the building (target date Jan. 2001).

So, come and visit them sometime at:

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