What’s In a Name

I don’t think I’m complaining about anything new, but I am a little tired of my job being called technical services.  I think more in a profession wide sense than withing my own library as I actually do most of the computer work in the building.  However, those responsibilities sort of grew organically when people came to realize my own capabilities.  My day to day job is as a cataloger, and I find it really annoying whenever I receive a tech support call from a patron, and it’s not like I can blame them since withing any other context I would certainly ask someone with the word “technical” in their job title for website help (incidentally, one of the techie functions I’m not actively involved with).

I know I’m not alone with these pet peeves.  The MLA’s technical services section has been dealing with the issue for years, in regards to being stuck as the group responsible for true techie matters at each year’s conference.  The problem there being augmented by the fact that most of the players involved do take an interest in the subject matter.  Maybe catalogers do have a bit of the IT/engineering mindsets, I certainly do (and have been asked on a few occasions to translate things from IT speak), but I’m almost inclined to say that what’s occurred is that we have changed in order to match the title.

But then again, I haven’t seen that sort of behavioral shift regarding the library SCIENCE name.  Maybe we should all start wearing lab coats?

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