Issues Outline

I. Background documents

A. Deanna Marcum's 2005 address to the Ebsco Leadership Seminar: "The Future of Cataloging".

1. $44 million/year spent by LC on cataloging excessive.

2. “... in the age of digital information … how much do we need to continue to spend on carefully constructed catalogs?”

B. Report Of The Task Group on the PCC Mission Statement (2005)

1. increasing automation, growing coverage of Web resources

2. increased batch loading of records

3. increased reliance on post- rather than pre-coordinated indexing

4. greater emphasis on subject analysis and authority control (with lesser emphasis on physical description)

5. more resource discovery ocurring outside the OPAC

6. increase in non-MARC metadata received from diverse sources

7. increase of metadata bundled with new acquisitions upon receipt

8. increased focus on unpublished, uncataloged materials.

9. etc.

C. University of California Libraries Bibliographic Services Task Force. Final Report: December 2005 . Recommendations for cataloging:

(1) consolidating and streamlining workflows;

(2a.) applying appropriate metadata standards (i.e., not always using AACR2/MARC),

(2b.) discontinuing or modifiying authority control for subject terms (e.g., through FAST, p. 23), and

(2c.) giving priority cataloging to otherwise unfindable items;

(3a.) manually enhancing shelf list for prolific literary authors, and

(3b.) implementing structured serials holdings format;

(4a.) automating metadata creation wherever possible,

(4b.) preserving vendor-supplied metadata such as cover art, publisher blurbs, tables of contents, bibliographies, etc., and

(4c.) allowing items to go into collections before they've been fully cataloged. [2]

II. Task Force Activities

A. Discuss documents above, along with ongoing review of professional literature (see annotated bibliography).

B. July 2005 review of Team Leaders recommendations designed to free up more time for new cataloging services. Recommendations were:

(1) revisit criteria for LSF transfers, e.g. default cataloging level and shelflisting for LSF-bound items;

(2) Accept call numbers from non-LC libraries, enhancing Yale’s ability to catalog on receipt;

(3) allow E-level support staff to perform duties formerly assigned to professional staff

(4) Establish and enforce standardized routing slips;

(5) discontinue detailed catalog of print analytics, dissertations, and other materials for which full-text electronic indexing and access is available

(6) using freely-available tools such as blogs and wikis to make staff communications more responsive and efficient

C. November 9, 2005 Task Force meeting with Team Leaders.

1. Broad agreement on the merits of standardized forms and documention web logs; cutting corners on authority control and shelf-listing was more contraversial.

2. Most proposals put on hold;

3. More data needed on how patrons use shelflist for virtual browsing.

D. Anticipated discussion on changing name of department.

1. The term "cataloging" captures only part of what we do, and is unfamiliar outside of libraries

2. Adding "metadata" to name would have more cachet both inside and outside the library

3. Compare with peer instutitons, e.g.:

(a.) MIT and Stanford: "Cataloging and Metadata Services";

(b.) Cornell: "Cataloging" department plus "Metadata Resources and Services" department.

(c.) U of Oregon: "Metadata and Digital Library Services"

(d.) Brown: "Cataloging Services" plus "Center for Digital Initiatives"

(e.) Columbia: "Bibliographic Control Division" divided into departments: "Monographic Processing Services"; "Original Serial & Monograph Cataloging" and "Special Collections and Metadata Cataloging"

III. Trends, issues, concerns, ideas, etc. identified by Task Force

A. Metadata Trends: Training and Implementation:

1. Mastery of XML-based tools, e.g. MARC-XML, MODS, and METS.

2. Understanding OpenURL (e.g. SFX), CoiNS (ContextObjects in Spans), unAPI, and other link-resolving and interoperability tools, as these are instrumental to "effective and integrated access to scholarly resources," as expressed in Library Vision Statement.

3. Pilot projects?

a. Wikipedia-plus-NAF?

b. Yiddish avant-garde illustrations?

c. GLBTQ cover art?

d. (cf. Funded Projects page at Harvard)

4. Bibliographic enrichment? Cf. LC's Bibliographic Enhancement Advisory Team (BEAT) on supplying sample passages of text, tables of contents, cover art, and publisher blurbs. Search Orbis for, example, on Kafka on the Shore and view second record.

B. Consulting services

1. Yale Element Set (YES) already in implementation (cf. K. Haskins at Visual Resources Collection)

2. FEDORA as archive for Yale scholars?

C. Integration of Finding Aids Databases

D. Usability

1. Exporting library data to broader audience,

2. integration of OPAC into Yale Portal and beyond. "Weaving the library into the Web."

3. Supporting user-requested services such as “search within a book”, spelling corrections, recommendations, relevancy rankings, cover art, and book reviews.

E. Collaboration with ILTS, other departments,

1. on public Web interfaces, Unicode implementation, Sakai support, etc.,

2. Karen Calhoun (2003), "to be successful in the long run, technical services must play a central role in digital library design and development and in e-resource management."

IV. Continuity in Role of Catalogers and Metadata Librarians

A. Marty Kurth: the role of the catalog/metadata librarian is the same as it's always been. We provide the pre-conditions for reconciliation (or semantic interoperability) among different disciplines' representations of knowledge. In other words, catalog/metadata librarians serve as conceptual translators from one academic discipline to another, reconciling vocabulary and facilitating interdisciplinary research. Metadata, in turn, forms the connective tissue that makes translation, reuse, mapping and transformation possible. This is what NISO calls for in its Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections, namely, that “Digital objects, metadata and collections are building blocks for reuse and integration.” XML, Dublin Core, OAI MHP, and other metadata innovations have opened up vast new opportunities for organizing information, but the practice of cataloging remains the same: we provide building blocks for semantic interoperability, schematic transformation, and the exchange of knowledge across minds, borders and disciplines.

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This file last modified 01/07/07