Making the Right Match: Meet GOBI Profiling Bibliographer Jon Colcord

Librarianship | February 14, 2017

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Jonathan Colcord is a Profiling Bibliographer at GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO. Learn more about Jon, his background and how his expertise is put to use to help GOBI Library Solutions provide the right books to libraries.

What did you do prior to joining GOBI Library Solutions?

I served in the United States Army and later attended Notre Dame College in New Hampshire with an emphasis on Commercial Art and then later in Fine Arts. After that, I owned a small bookstore along with my wife.

How long have you worked at GOBI Library Solutions? What is your current job title?

I’ve been with GOBI Library Solutions for 21 years, and I’ve held the position of Profiling Bibliographer since 2000. Prior to that, I worked in the same unit as a Copy Cataloguer, and started with the company as a Receiver.

What do you do in a typical day?

As a Profiler, I am focused primarily on the task of accurately describing books for our library customers, both book-in-hand, and more recently with e-books as well. My focus is primarily the visual arts, and I handle most of the art exhibition catalogues and other art titles, photography and architecture. My secondary focus is on music titles.

In a typical day, I will work through 35 to 40 new book titles for our customers depending on what is coming our way. Our job involves reading within a title to get at some of the more esoteric information that our customers want to know about, the types of information not reflected in the Library of Congress record. Essentially, we help our systems get a book on its way to a specific customer based on a list of aspects that we manually assign to each title, followed by a series of specific questions asked by individual libraries for each book.

The job requires a good amount of knowledge in our specialized areas, an eagle eye, and a lot of common sense. Apart from profiling, I also manage two hand-selected Spotlight lists in the areas of Popular Music and Photography.

How does what you do help libraries?

As I see it, we help them to make purchasing decisions that would be nearly impossible if they did not have someone vetting the books as we do. This is important for them to effectively control their acquisitions and manage their budgets. It is just as important to keep a book from a library as it is to send it to them. Our decisions make certain that they get only what they require through their tailored plans.

What do you like to do in your free time?

The all-consuming force in my life outside of GOBI is music. Since 1984 I have been involved with producing radio programs of one sort of another. This has also opened up doors for me as a music journalist, as well as an Emcee/Stage Manager at many festivals. Presently, I produce two weekly programs focused on American roots music. “Out of the Woods,” an eclectic mix of mostly acoustic contemporary roots music and Americana is a 3-hour weekly show, and “Music for the Mountain Bluegrass,” is a 1-hour weekly traditional bluegrass show. Both are syndicated internationally to many FM and online radio stations. On a regular basis, I also host performers who play live on the shows, which have included Grammy and JUNO winners and nominees such as Bela Fleck, John Gorka, Cara Luft, April Verch, Bill Bourne and many others.

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