What is TMQ Cataloging Training?


We have been teaching cataloging workshops as "The MARC of Quality ®" (aka TMQ) since 1992, constantly updating and improving them and striving to make them as practical as possible.


In 2012, we re-designed our workshops series to tide us over the chaotic transition period that is inevitable when a community switches from following one set of rules (AACR) to a new set of instructions (RDA)


Please take note of any recommended pre-requisites for these workshops and try to take the workshops in their recommended order.




MARC21 in Your Library (1 Day)

MARC for Copy Cats (1 Day)




Rudimentary RDA (1 Day)

RDA/MARC for Copy Cats (2 Days)



It is highly advisable that you attend “MARC21 in Your Library” before coming to “MARC for Copy Cats”. It would also be a very good idea for you to attend “MARC for Copy Cats” before "RDA/MARC for Copy Cats", unless you are already very well versed in copy cataloging procedures.


Why should you take TMQ Cataloging Training?


Good cataloging doesn't just happen.

Our current library automation systems rely on 'good' MARC21 records in order to function as well as they can, and it takes special skills to copy or make MARC21 records that will work well in each and every MARC21-based library automation system out there.


Our “Foundations” workshops start you off with an understanding of how library automation systems should be using the records that catalogers provide. They also introduce you to the concepts and skills needed to copy records from other sources instead of making them on your own. 


The RDA workshops are designed to prepare you for the future, and give you the confidence to deal with both AACR/MARC records and RDA/MARC records. However, neither of these RDA Cataloging Workshops is intended to teach you how to create original records, following RDA.


Our workshops are fast-paced and practical.

They are built around problems that you face daily--they do not get into the rules and codes that you will seldom use.


You'll learn to make records that others will want to copy.

But our courses do more than just show you how to make better MARC records. They take you beyond 'how', and into 'why'.


Our goal for you

Our goal is that you'll take away a new appreciation of the need for good MARC records.


We aim to give you a working knowledge of what goes into good cataloging, and show you what it takes to produce professional level records.


You'll learn how to edit or create records that follow the standards, transmit the right information, and provide the best access for your patrons.


Beyond that, you'll find these workshops are fun, fast-moving and packed full of examples. Hundreds of people have benefited from these workshops, people who are often expected to be solely responsible for all of the cataloging in their libraries, but who sometimes don't have a clue if they're doing it 'right'.


Who should take TMQ Cataloging Training?

Anyone who is doing any form of cataloging in today’s automated environment should take these workshops.


If you only add item information (holdings) to records that are already in your library’s database, you should at least attend the two foundational workshops, to learn how to read and understand MARC21 records and how to be sure that you are finding the right records for your items.


If you do copy cataloging to bring records into your database from outside sources, you should attend the foundational workshops and the new “RDA/MARC for Copy Cats” workshop for a good foundation on searching, matching and editing records that you find. Given the ever increasing numbers of cataloging records that are available from more and more sources, it should be obvious by now that copy cataloging is not as simple as it first appears. We take copy cataloging seriously, and address it as a whole other branch of cataloging.


If you do original cataloging, and want to switch to doing RDA original cataloging, you will need more RDA training than we are prepared to provide, at this time. It is possible to learn how to create RDA records from scratch, using MARC21, but our RDA training for originals is still in development and will not be MARC-based. So, our recommendation, for the time being, is to continue creating original records following the standards that you already know, and add whatever RDA cataloging you have been taught, so far, to those records, making them hybrid records. Just don’t call them RDA records, and that will be ‘good enough’ for now.

For more details, see: “Thoughts on Training for RDA” (at:


How can you get TMQ Cataloging Training?

Read the Cataloging series summary to find out more about our workshops; go to the full descriptions for any workshop that particularly interests you. You will find the dates and locations that are currently scheduled for each workshop after their full descriptions.


You can also check our schedules by Date,  by Workshop Title, and by Hosting Institution.  For registration and pricing information for a workshop, you must contact the appropriate hosting institution. 


If none of the scheduled locations work for you, and you have sufficient people interested in a topic, you can arrange for TMQ to come to your own location; visit our Onsite Training page for information. We also offer Online Training too.