Q: Where do I look for home-based cataloging jobs?

Q: I have a MIS and M.Ed. School Library Media. I have 6 years’ experience as a university/college librarian, mainly cataloging periodicals and academic materials. I also have 5 years’ experience as an elementary school librarian.

I love cataloging. I was thinking of finding a cataloging job I can do from home (online). Can you advise me on where to search for home-based cataloging jobs?

CNW: How I adore the Internet for opening up remote working capabilities. Cataloging is an area that could lend itself to home-based work, if you are cataloging digital rather than physical materials.

Therefore, you’ll need to think broadly about what kind of cataloging opportunities are available on a remote-working basis. As a cataloger, you may find that taxonomy development or information architecture jobs are new ways to use your skill set and similar enough to cataloging that you could find them enjoyable. You’re also more likely to find these types of jobs more suited to location independence than traditional cataloging jobs that require physical interaction with books and other materials.

To find opportunities, you will have to broaden your search beyond the usual library list serves to include sources like Indeed.com and LinkedIn, as well as any local job sources for your geographic area. Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Ed will be more targeted to your background and experience. Also consider library vendors like OCLC.

You don’t say whether you’re employed now, but if so, I also suggest approaching your current employer about the possibility of working remotely. The response may be no, but  asking for a trial period has the benefit of trying out the arrangement before committing to it fully. While working from home can be wonderful, some people find that productivity becomes a challenge, or that they miss the activity of a traditional office.

In your search, look at colleges and universities with distance learning programs. These institutions may be more comfortable with remote work arrangements than schools with a more traditional, in-person approach to instruction. Keep your eyes open, think creatively about who might need your cataloging skills, and you will likely find a work-from-home arrangement that works for you.

Suggested resources:

Location, Location, Location,” The New York Times, 3/2/2013

Pros and Cons of Working at Home,” CareerBuilder.com, 4/17/2009

Q & A with Tiffany, 10/17/2011

3 thoughts on “Q: Where do I look for home-based cataloging jobs?

  1. Adding my two cents to this question about finding a home-based cataloging job- I think Carrie offered excellent suggestions for both job search resources and strategies. I too am a cataloging librarian although in a slightly non-traditional position. I work for NoveList, an online Readers’ Advisory database primarily marketed to public and school libraries. For those catalogers reading this response, please prepare yourselves for a shock. Here at NoveList, we do not catalog with the book in-hand. Instead, we use a variety of professional review sources to enhance our bibliographic records with extensive subject headings, genres, and appeal terms. I mention this because, although my position requires me to work on-site, a similar position could easily lend itself to working from home. Some of the considerations that I, as a supervisor, have, when considering requests to work from home, include the employee’s dedicated workspace and internet connection as well as the possible distractions they might face. Not to mention that working from home requires an inordinate amount of concentration and self-discipline and is not for everyone. If you are seeking a position that allows you to work from home, having these issues worked out in advance would make your case much more appealing to your potential employers. Another consideration is whether your potential employer is equipped to have remote employees- phones with conference call features are needed for meetings as well as VPN capability. With these tech tools, remote employees can engage in meetings and conversations as well as if they were physically present. I think that the key consideration for employers of remote employees is whether the employee can or will be as productive at a distance as they would be if they worked on-site. Demonstrating a proven ability or the aptitude for an increased level of productivity while working from home will hopefully encourage your potential employer to consider your request.
    Renee Young
    Cataloging Supervisor
    NoveList
    ryoung@ebscohost.com

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