Cataloging Training & Resources

Cataloging Training

Free cataloging training courses are available to staff from all RAILS member libraries. Training formats include in-person classes, presentations, and webinars.

Training opportunities include:

  • Quarterly basic training on cataloging and classification. These courses are offered as a two-day in-person session, and provide the practical, hands-on training needed to succeed in cataloging and classification of print monographs.
  • Supplementary single sessions on various cataloging related topics through webinars.
  • Advanced courses are coming soon – if you have any requests, please get in touch

The classes will be listed in L2 ( as they are scheduled. For a list of training currently scheduled, or to register for a workshop, visit Library Learning (L2).

RAILS is always looking to expand the cataloging training opportunities that we provide to our members. Is there a cataloging topic you are interested in that is not currently covered? Send an email to and let us know.

Best Practices for Consortial Cataloging

This document can aid RAILS libraries and consortia in finding opportunities to tune up existing cataloging standards and practices, or to develop new consistent practices in areas that are currently not standardized. These recommendations aim to set a baseline standard for bibliographic description in general, promote consistent practices within consortia, encourage the evolution of standard practices across consortia, and focus on key specific issues with the greatest potential impact on the patron experience.

Best Practices for Consortial Cataloging (PDF)

Cataloging Staff Competency Levels

These competency levels are general recommendations from the RAILS Cataloging Working Group. These recommendations will help RAILS libraries as they design training for their cataloging staff for advocate and plan for new cataloging positions. These competencies are open to interpretation based on local practices and staffing structures at individual libraries.

Cataloging Staff Competency Levels (PDF)

RAILS World Language Cataloging Services Program

The World Language Cataloging Services Program is a statewide cataloging support program for Illinois library system members. This service provides supplementary cataloging, particularly when original cataloging or world language cataloging is needed for the system members as an outsourcing option. This service provides original and copy cataloging for materials in all languages that are considered part of the library's regular collection, as opposed to being a special collection. Each library makes that determination. Both RAILS and IHLS members are eligible to participate.

This service is made possible by a grant from the Illinois State Library and there is no charge for system member libraries to use the service.

Please contact Nincy George ( to schedule a consultation or visit the World Language Cataloging Services Program webpage for more information or to request this service.

Cataloging Maintenance Center (CMC)

Supported by the Illinois State Library, the Cataloging Maintenance Center is operated by the Illinois Heartland Library System and provides statewide cataloging support for Illinois libraries.

The CMC upgrades bibliographic records for Local Library System Automation Programs (LLSAPs) throughout the state. RAILS LLSAPs are CCS, Pinnacle, PrairieCat, RRLC, RSA, and SWAN.

The Cataloging Maintenance Center (CMC) offers cataloging training courses and webinars that can be accessed via electronic methods, including Zoom and Moodle.

Online with the CMC

Online with the CMC is a webinar series which includes sessions with a 15-20 minute presentation on different cataloging topics followed by questions and answers. These training sessions are free to all Illinois libraries and are listed in L2 ( as they are scheduled.

The CMC will provide original or copy cataloging of eligible collections for any library that is an LLSAP member or that receives a grant requiring holdings to be added to OCLC WorldCat. "Eligible collections" currently include genealogy, local history, and special collections (i.e., local authors, community cookbooks, government documents, etc.).

For more information, visit:

OCLC Connexion Training Provided by OCLC

OCLC Alternatives

For many Illinois libraries, the cost of OCLC membership has become an impediment to expanding resource sharing.

In January 2015, RAILS contracted with Joe Matthews of JRM Consulting, Inc. to do an environmental scan of OCLC alternatives. His research cumulated in a presentation to the Consortia Committee and Consortia Futures Subcommittee on April 20, 2015, as well as a final written report. The report and presentation slides are attached as PDF files below.