Catalogues and Cataloguing

Two new reports this week from the world of catalogues and cataloguing:

(1) On the Record: Report of The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control

The Library of Congress has released the final report of the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control.

The goals of the Working Group were to:

  • Present findings on how bibliographic control and other descriptive practices can effectively support management of and access to library materials in the evolving information and technology environment;
  • Recommend ways in which the library community can collectively move toward achieving this vision;
  • Advise the Library of Congress on its role and priorities.
The Working Group identified three broad guiding principles that formed the foundation for the Report and its recommendations. They are the need to redefine:
  • Bibliographic Control as broader than cataloging, comprehending all materials accessed through libraries, a diverse community of users, and a multiplicity of venues where information is sought.
  • The Bibliographic Universe beyond libraries, publishers and database producers to include creators, vendors, distributors, stores, and user communities, among others, across sectors and international boundaries.
  • The Role of the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress plays a unique role in the U.S. library community. Since it started distributing catalog cards, the Library has had a role as the primary source of bibliographic records for libraries in the United States. The environment within which the Library operates has changed dramatically (technological evolution and economic forces have driven the creation, production, distribution and use of information in multiple forms). It simply is neither feasible nor necessarily appropriate for the Library to continue to perform all its assumed roles—particularly when considering its own demanding legislative mandate for managing its vast and complex internal collections, services, and programs.
The recommendations in this Report fall into five general areas:
  • Increase the efficiency of bibliographic production for all libraries through increased cooperation and increased sharing of bibliographic records, and by maximizing the use of data produced through the entire “supply chain” for information resources.
  • Transfer effort into higher-value activity. In particular, expand the possibilities for knowledge creation by exposing to more users rare and unique materials held by libraries that are currently hidden from view and, consequently, underused.
  • Position our technology for the future by recognizing that the World Wide Web is both our technology platform and the appropriate platform for the delivery of our standards. Recognize that people are not the only users of the data we produce in the name of bibliographic control, but so too are machine applications that interact with those data in a variety of ways.
  • Position our community for the future by facilitating the incorporation of evaluative and other user-supplied information into our resource descriptions. Work to realize the potential of the FRBR framework for revealing and capitalizing on the various relationships that exist among information resources.
  • Strengthen the library profession through education and the development of measurements that will inform decision-making, now and in the future.
(2) Perceptions 2007: An International Survey of Library Automation

Marshall Breeding of Library Technology Guides has published the results of a survey looking at perceptions in libraries of Integrated Library Systems.
  • How satisfied is the library with your current Integrated Library System (ILS)?
  • How satisfied is the library overall with the company from which you purchased your current ILS?
  • How satisfied is this library with this company's customer support services?
  • How likely is it that this library will purchase its next ILS from this company?
  • Is this library currently considering migrating to a new ILS?
  • If yes, please list ILS products under consideration.
  • Is this library currently considering acquiring a search interface for its collection that is separate from the ILS?
  • If yes, please list search products under consideration.
  • How likely is it that this library would consider implementing an open source ILS?
  • If interested in open source ILS options, please list the products under consideration.
In addition to providing the statistical results and observation and interpretations, the report also provides access to an interactive version of the statistical reports, which includes the ability to view the responses for each of the ILS products, along with the redacted comments.

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