Cataloging: Then and Now

Karen Coyle and Renee Register gave a talk some time ago, Feb. 19, 2010 sponsored by the College of DuPage called, Cataloging: Where are we now? Where are we going? Presented as a windows media or quicktime streaming video, it can be accessed at this url:

The opening question asks whether the current cataloging standards are still relevant in an era where the nature of information is changing and the volume of information is increasing. The talk goes on to figure out if these standards are still current and to talk about the role of the cataloger and the catalog.

Here are some points that I found interesting:

  • Semantic web: The influence of the semantic web on how we catalog will only continue to increase. From tagging to linked records, how we create and edit records will take into consideration this semantic web to an increasing degree.
  • Linked data: Just look at the chapters in RDA on relationships or the Library of Congress’ SKOS Authorities and Vocabularies project. The use of url’s, uri’s, or other identifiers to relate and link information and documents is already a concern of many and will gain more interest.
  • Partnerships: It is not just about partnerships between libraries and librarians but also between librarians and others who deal with information and metadata. In order to decrease the duplication of cataloging efforts, these partnerships between libraries and let’s say publishers will become more important.
  • Relevance of cataloging/metadata: Cataloging and metadata units are still relevant and needed in the library.
  • Change perceptions of data and records: Instead of thinking of records as static, we need to see them as evolving in terms of the information associated with the item that the record describes.

I found that this video is a really good entry point into the discussions taking place surrounding cataloging, metadata, and the catalog for both those in this particular area of librarianship and not. The brief bit on how cataloging and metadata is relevant useful, especially in a time when cataloging and metadata units might be shrinking. Enjoy.

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