Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians

In 2017, the ALCTS Cataloging Competencies Task Force and ALCTS Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group created the original Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians. The document defined competencies in broad terms to acknowledge the wide variety of work performed by cataloging and metadata professionals in libraries of all types and sizes, regardless of developments in a particular standard or technology.

In early 2023, the Core Metadata & Collections Leadership Team asked former member of the Cataloging Competencies Task Force, Dr. Karen Snow, to lead an effort to revise the Core Competencies. The revision team updated the entire original document to clarify language and incorporate competencies relating to artificial intelligence and large language models, emphasize ethics, and move the examples to an appendix for easier updating over time.

View the Revised Competencies

While a baseline of knowledge, skills, and behaviors for cataloging and metadata professional librarians is defined in this document, competence in cataloging and metadata is obtained over the course of an individual’s career. This document is meant to supplement the American Library Association’s Core Competences of Librarianship, and as such, many general competencies of librarianship will not be listed here.

Core thanks the members of the revision team: Dr. Karen Snow, Bobby Bothmann, Staci Ross, Elizabeth Russey Roke, and Pam Swaidner.