It is impossible to look into the future with any clarity. As an example, I think there were doubts until relatively recently about whether even RDA would take off, and one could argue that it is still unlikely to really fly.These are some personal reflections of how trends might pan out. Please forgive the animals.
It is difficult to imagine cataloguing in the future having one single set of standards. The AACR2/MARC21 world will I think look a lot different and I simply can't see a simple transition to RDA/Bibframe and carry on as usual.As a proportion of bibliographic records in existence, full traditional cataloguing is in many ways already in a minority, and a proliferation of standards for describing bibliographic things is already well under way:Article databasesAmazon dataArchivesRepositories (I do know of one that uses RDA)RDA's insular and complex nature will no doubt promote this trend.Thinking back to the roles that MARC has played, some of these have already been hived off: e.g. storage is in databases and we don't need to see or care how they're stored; discovery systems look after display and indexing to an increasing degree, converting from MARC or whatever. With a web of data, search engines could also take discovery off specific discovery layers, the issue then being how to deal with local holdings and access.Two main roles persist: input, which is insane (see RIMMF and Tom's input screen thing), and transfer of data.Cataloguers can concentrate on entering and managing data rather than mangling text.
Open Data will be published and shared as LOD rather than presented by an institution through a portal (catalogue or discovery system). This will promote re-use and some functions will take place elsewhere. E.g. indexing can be done through Google and its rivals who are good at this kind of thing(!) rather than through discovery systems or OPACs that are not up to the job and take years of set up and tweaking. It's also where people are going to find information first anyway.
Linked Data assumes a far greater degree of openness. Think of open access, moves toward open government data and, to some extent, search engine's ability to index and process this data.Although libraries still have a way to go with this, especially RDA!!!!!!
Using LOD frees libraries to some extent from specialised library software and systems as LOD is not a library standard and can be processed and searched by others. It is far easier to build something to take advantage of others' data when it is open and able to be processed using standard tools for LOD and the web than it is with MARC and z39.50 gates.How this will pan out in real life is more difficult to see, and is probably the most important question. Will Vendor X support Bibframe? Will they have to for it to take off? If not, will we start using alternative software to publish Bibframe or other linked data?To put it another way, what is the future of the vendor and the integrated library system. I would suggest they're already fragmenting.To put it another way, who is really in control of standards. You want a FRBRised RDA catalogue: what's stopping you? Vendors? The JSC? You want linked data catalogue, less is stopping you!
Given volumes and cost cutting leading to shelf ready this is happening already. We are no longer just crafting individual records within institutions but managing collections of records and data. For ebooks, we cannot reasonably catalogue 100,000 records; with staff shortages we cannot keep up with backlogs.We are inevitably sharing data (and ideas, processes, and policies) between institutions. LOD provides means of doing this beyond the model of searching a db and copying (smug correcting) others' records. LOD provided means of sharing data even beyond libraries.
Think globally. Think how your data will play with others' data if it is all released into the wild. What matches could you make with eg with BL data, with LC, with VIAF, with Wikipedia, with ORCID, with your own repository, and so on.Concentrate on standards. If you follow standards these matches and links are more likely, e.g. LC authorities which ties you in with Wikipedia and from there the world, linked data dewey, etc.Prioritise linking in records. Linked data obviously depends on links. I was going to mentioned Karen Coyle's $0 idea too.Learn about it. Be involved in discussions even if it's asking questions.Ask vendors about it.Look out for projects or initiatives where catalogue data might contribute and supplement other kinds of data.Play!
Cig tm future
Thoughts on the future of
Linked Data: what cataloguers need to know #cigld
CILIP Cataloguing and Indexing Group (CIG)
25 November 2013