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Rebecca Culbertson, electronic resources cataloging librarian at the University of California San Diego, is known as a champion for cataloging education. She has mentored a generation of catalogers and worked to develop and promote clear standards for the cataloging and communication of serials information.
Rebecca has been an active contributor to CONSER and Program of Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) task groups, and has chaired the PCC Standing Committee on Standards since 2009. Through her work with the PCC, Culbertson has contributed to the development of such widely used standards as the PCC BIBCO Standard, PCC CONSER Standard, PCC Provider-Neutral Standard, LC-PCC Policy Statements and PCC Vendor Records Guidelines.
Culbertson played a key role in updating these and other standards to accommodate the new cataloging code, Resource Description and Access (RDA), and in addition, she has helped promote the effective presentation of journals though accepted standards such as KBART and PIE-J.
In your opinion, what is one of the most significant contributions you have made to serials librarianship?
I developed the initial concept of using one bibliographic record for multiple providers of online serial titles (as long as the content was the same). Eventually, this became known as the Provider-Neutral concept and spread to online monographs as well.
Could you share an experience you have had collaborating between the serials community and the larger library profession?
Last summer, I worked with a large publisher to help them change their journal website pages to incorporate journal title “families” in their display.
What inspired you to pursue a career in library and information science?
The librarian at Kalamazoo College where I went to school. I swapped ten hours at the circulation desk in return for him spending time talking to me about the different aspects of librarianship. Once I got into technical services, I knew I had found my home.
What do you find most exciting about the future of library and information work?
The steady drumbeat of the move towards open access content, through both local digitization efforts and repositories.
What do you see as the main issues facing librarians and library staff today?
Making sure that people realize that searching Google doesn’t mean that you have found everything, and just because something is digitized, that doesn’t mean you can access it.
What career advice would you give to an LIS student interested in your career?
“Have you ever thought about creating metadata?”
What is the best piece of career advice you ever received?
“Have you ever thought about cataloging?”
Finally, what can you tell us about yourself that we might never guess?
After trying for years, at age 62, I finally learned how to hula-hoop!