Assistant Director of Processing Services for Cataloging
Coordinated all cataloging and cataloging-related processes and procedures, allocating fiscal, manpower and other resources. Served as interface with other areas of the library in matters related to machine requirements in the automation of cataloging records. Represented the Library in the formulation of cataloging policy and role relating to cooperative undertakings with other libraries and institutions both nationally and internationally.
For the year that I was LC’s Assistant Director of Processing Services for Cataloging, I don’t remember much in the way of progress and I don’t think that I was there long enough to get an evaluation. Under me were the Descriptive Cataloging. Shared Cataloging, and Subject Cataloging Divisions. My office was very small and it was complicated to meet with Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs at one time.
One of the problems that faced me was the need of a romanization table for Amharic which is an Ethiopic script used not only for Amharic but also for Ge’ez, Argobba, Gurage, and Tigre. Amharic is the official government language spoken in Ethiopia. Unlike Arabic, Hebrew or Syrian, the language is written from left to right. It is a very complicated language. An example can be seen at: https://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/romanization/amharic.pdf. Not one to be cowed, I brought a couple of Amharic speakers for a couple of days to work with me. I served only as a referee in getting a consensus. It was a surreal type of day.
Of great concern was handle non-roman scripts in the digital record. I was a pesky problem, over which we in the cataloging divisions had no control – except to complain to the Automation Department. I don’t recall if or when the problem was solved.