What Does MARC Mean to You?

September: another academic year has started. Walking around the campus where I work I’ve been noting a number of students wearing t-shirts with the image of a fist with M-A [anarchy sign]-R-C written on the knuckles. Take a look:

Now, being in my last semester of library school and having–apparently–really drunk the Kool-Aid, I was pretty psyched to see all these young hip student-types walking around with shirts advertising the fist-pumping awesomeness of MARC: Machine Readable Cataloging. A digital cataloging standard designed to promote uniform and consistent classification? Encouraging controlled vocabularies and subject headings? What’s not to be excited about, right? I wasn’t sure what was so very rebellious or anarchistic about MARC, but I wasn’t going to discourage such enthusiasm. (I mean, it isn’t a perfect standard, but still…)

As it turns out, though, I am just woefully behind in matters of fashion. As the more sartorially-aware among you no doubt knew, the MARC fist shirt is actually one for the designer, Marc Jacobs. This comes as something of a disappointment to me, but I’m pretty sure my mix-up means that I am well on my way to becoming a bona fide librarian.


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