Cataloging 2.0?

February 21, 2007 at 9:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Whoops, someone hasn’t been remembering to blog. Well, anyway.

There’s a lot of talk these days. Some of it is about Web 2.0, Library 2.0, tapioca pudding 2.0, what have you. And some of it is about how cataloging must change–the catalog should look more like Google; it should look more like Amazon; it should allow commenting and tagging; it shouldn’t rely on controlled vocabulary anymore; it should use FRBR; it’s becoming obsolete; it should be redesigned; etc.

So where is the talk about Cataloging 2.0? Not necessarily Catalog 2.0, but Cataloging or even Tech Services itself–not just the catalog as end process, but the community of catalogers working for the community of library users and the community of libraries and librarians.

Maybe participation in PCC, NACO, SACO, etc. is part of this (and long-established…just like metadata has actually been around a long time). And maybe more catalogers, and more institutions, sharing more of the work of cataloging, instead of relying on the big guys like LC or Cornell, as the latter do less of it. What if we compiled a file of downloadable MARC records for the titles in the African American Experience database, and not only loaded those records in our local catalog, but made the file available to other institutions, so they could load them? What if various individual catalogers contributed files (or upkeep of files) to a central online repository (wiki? blog?) so that catalogers could find all those things and share them in one place?

Would my institution be willing to commit the staff time to making these files, making them available (firewalls?), and maybe even providing tech support to the librarians who write in saying, “I want to load these records but don’t know how”? (Or need to change the URLs…)

Gotta think about this.

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