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The Catalog’s Last Stand ?

A volley has landed. This would make a great conference panel debate.
The Catalog’s Last Stand
by Norm Medeiros (Sept. 21, 2007)
This article describes the uncertain future of the online catalog, and the tension that exists between creating a cataloging code that meets user needs while adhering to principles deemed important by the cataloging community. Underscoring this tension are the provocative questions posited by the Taiga Steering Committee, which call into question the future of libraries.
Source: OCLC Systems & Services
You can access the complete PDF here.
If you’d rather see its catalogue record, it’s here. (irony symbol here).

Posted on: September 22, 2007, 10:30 am Category: Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Although the article starts with a bold title, I felt that overall it was slightly confused. Norm speculates that libraries might ‘outsource’ their OPAC.
    This isn’t the end of the online catalog, simply a different way of providing it (clearly the user doesn’t care who/what runs the online catalogue, as long as it works for them).
    This could clearly have an impact on staffing and service models – but this is an entirely different thing to challenging descriptive cataloguing as a ‘gold standard’.
    A more radical suggestion is that the digitisation of books (or e-native texts) and then using this digital text to provide search functionality, and statistical analysis of text to provide subject/topic information – this is clearly a direction Google are interested in (, and is a much more challenging idea (IMO) than the relatively straightforward suggestion that we might outsource our catalogue.