A bunch of us troublesome catalogers on Twitter are mustering up a group to encourage and support one another as we all try to learn to code. If you’re not Twitter-adverse, you may follow discussion amongst catalogers participating in CodeYear here: #catcode (you don’t need to sign up to view the conversation). The site isn’t specific as to what exactly participants will learn, however the site promises that participants will be able to build apps and websites. Perhaps PHP?
A question: should catalogers learn to code? Is there benefit in technical services staff learning enough about programming in order to better communicate with partners whom develop metadata tools? Or should catalogers mind our own business and stick to what we’re good at? I’ve heard compelling arguments on both sides of the issue, from both programmers as well as catalogers/metadata types. Arguments also seem to hinge on the size of the library–large academic research libraries such as IUL, have the resources to support a team of talented developers. Small public libraries… not so much.
I will be participating on my personal time, in hopes that I can apply what I learn to non-work websites I manage. Here is a list of catalogers who are participating in CodeYear.