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How to Get Certified in Library Cataloging

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A library cataloger's job is to help patrons find materials easily and efficiently. A cataloger sorts through materials, such as rare volumes, maps and reference materials, and determines how to classify them. To be successful, a cataloger must understand and use standard classification systems. A cataloging certificate program, which supplements a librarian certification program or even a degree in library sciences, can be useful.

Research certificate programs at community, state or private colleges. Look into online certification courses, which typically offer workshops that result in certification upon completion.

Determine the qualifications you must have to enroll. Some programs require a bachelor’s degree, for example.

Submit applications to the programs you wish to attend.

Study the Machine-Readable Cataloging, or MARC, standards, which the U.S. Library of Congress developed to standardize formatting across and between libraries. You may find a MARC workshop in your area, or through the school where you will earn your certificate in library cataloging.

Determine and complete the courses or workshops you must complete to earn certification. Prepare for and take any examinations that are required.


Contact the department that oversees certification and request an interview with an adviser to learn more about the program. Also, talk to others who have earned certification through this program.

The American Library Association also offers certification programs.