Cataloging Practicum Program via LIS 691

On occasion the Cataloging Department will have a practicum student. These students will enroll for LIS 691 (formerly LIS 601) and work for at least 80 hours for 2 credit hours or 120 hours for 3 credit hours as an unpaid intern. The hours of the Cataloging Dept. are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. All work for the practicum must be done within these hours. Practicums include projects from typical areas of cataloging work such as:

  • Copy cataloging
  • Editing bibliographic records
  • Original cataloging
  • Assigning call numbers and subject headings
  • Authority work
  • Work on OCLC and local integrated library system

Potential Practicum Activities:

Cataloging materials in the Interior Architecture Library (IARC Library) located in the Studio Arts Building:

  • Perform original cataloging for the 5th year thesis and for sample book
  • Catalog monographs that have not yet been cataloged
  • Responsible for evaluating new materials to see if they are new to the collection or need to be exchanged with older samples
  • Opportunities to write procedure manuals

Location of the practicum would be divided between the Cataloging Department in Jackson Library and the IARC Library.

Cataloging recital recordings from the School of Music (must have some knowledge of music):

  • Perform original cataloging for performances held and recorded in the School of Music
  • Add or correct performance notes on brief records
  • Verify and/or create uniform titles for various musical works
  • Opportunities to write procedure manuals

Location of the practicum would be divided between the Cataloging Department in Jackson Library and the Harold Schiffman Music Library.

Mock Job Interview activities:

Practicum students in fall and spring semesters must participate in a mock or practice job interview. If the student has no real life job posting in mind, the practicum coordinator will provide a "typical" job ad and arrange for the student to be interviewed.
Pre-interview activities:

  • Critical reading of the job advertisement
  • Submission of a cover letter and resume tailored to the job advertisement

This interview itself typically lasts a few hours and includes:

  • A presentation by the candidate to the Cataloging Department, the Faculty Supervisor, and possibly other interested members of the University Libraries.
  • A group interview (question and answer session) between the Cataloging Department and the candidate

After the interview the Practicum Coordinator will collect feedback and give an anonymous list of kudos and suggestions to the candidate.


What are the expectations of the Cataloging Department?

Hosting a practicum student involves training, scheduling and integrating a new temporary employee into a busy department.


  • Complete application four weeks before registration for next semester
  • If more than one application received for the semester, participate in an interview
  • Meet with Head of Cataloging Dept. and Faculty Advisor to determine goals and expectations
  • Create a schedule of 80 or 120 hours of activities at the beginning of the semester
  • Maintain and forwarding a weekly log of hours/activities to the Dept. Head
  • Meet periodically with the Dept. Head to keep her updated on your activities and progress

What are the expectations of the Dept. of Library and Information Studies?

  • Consult with your Faculty Advisor in LIS


How are practicums graded?
The Dept. Head:

  • Invites the Faculty Advisor to observe the student on site in the Cataloging Dept. or IARC Library
  • Records her own feedback
  • Compiles the feedback of others in the Cataloging Dept.
  • Forwards this feedback to the Faculty Advisor
  • The Faculty Supervisor then assigns a grade of S or U based on criteria listed on the practicum policy page of the Dept. of Library and Information Studies.

Application form

Disclaimer:  There is no guarantee about the availability or nature of work available to practicum students. We won't set you to sharpening pencils, but a practicum is an introduction to the actual work and culture of a cataloging department. Some activities may not be available during certain semesters. Availability of activities also depends on the schedules of the catalogers.

Feel free to contact Mary Jane Conger, Cataloging Dept. Head, with any questions.