So I am stepping behind the scenes of the tool that so far I’ve only used as a cataloger – the ILS. I’m learning about database structures, about the Oracle tables where the raw data is stored and how to navigate them in the command line. Basically, all the systems librarian stuff.
Certain tasks (such as adding prefixes to call numbers) can be much easier than the tedious work of editing by hand when you query and manipulate the database with a few lines of SQL code. I tremendously enjoy descending into the depths of the system! This may only be a small step for mankind, but it’s quite a leap for me. 😉
My horizon has been broadened and my interest for the more technical aspects has been sparked by what I read on- and offline. The following quote from Christine Schwartz’ excellent article “Changing mind-set, changing skill set” (Conversations with catalogers in the 21st century) reflects my feelings: “Those who write in this community, their blogs and articles, have helped me grow as a … librarian probably much more quickly than if I had to struggle on my own.”
P.S.: Here’s a link to a useful interactive tutorial to brush up your SQL skills.