The Future of Serials Cataloging


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Thoughts on the future of serials cataloging, ca. 2006.

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The Future of Serials Cataloging

  1. 1. The Future of Serials Cataloging Sue Ann Gardner Candidate, Serials and Electronic Cataloger position June 15, 2006
  2. 2. Discussion topic: <ul><li>“Considering the many issues and challenges facing serials cataloging, describe 1 – 3 of these and discuss what impact they may have on the future of cataloging.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Three issues and challenges facing serials cataloging <ul><li>1. The infrastructure and interface of the catalog are poised to change </li></ul><ul><li>2. Serials cataloging practices are changing </li></ul><ul><li>3. Managing the effects of these changes on library personnel . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Challenge number one: The infrastructure and interface of the catalog are poised to change <ul><li>As libraries incorporate ever more electronic materials and offer more services via remote access, I believe that the role of the catalog is bound to become more central to libraries’ operations. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The infrastructure and interface of the catalog are poised to change (cont.) <ul><li>We are faced with new challenges to continue to ensure that the 100-years’ work of generations of catalogers remains relevant in today’s digital environment. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Current cataloging debate <ul><li>Karen Calhoun (Cornell) – libraries will serve in a leadership role; the catalog should be reinvented and repackaged. </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Mann (LC) – libraries’ role in scholarship. </li></ul><ul><li>Deanna Marcum (LC) – Google as the future. </li></ul><ul><li>The California report (UC) – akin to Calhoun’s report. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Google revolution <ul><li>The public interface of the catalog will likely become more “Google-like,” (and/or more “Amazon-like,” more “A9-like,” etc .). </li></ul><ul><li>However, this does not mean that our daily work as catalogers will necessarily change very much. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What is/are metadata? <ul><li>When we create catalog records, we are creating a sophisticated form of metadata. </li></ul><ul><li>MARC is a rich metadata scheme, complemented by detailed rules of use (AACR2, LCRIs, OCLC’s bibliographic format and standards, et al .). </li></ul><ul><li>Metadata simply serve/s as a surrogate for a resource. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Portal to the Deep Web <ul><li>The catalog, in its current form, is a portal to the “Deep Web,” that vast repository full of high-quality, expensive, sometimes exclusive, information including that in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journals (providing links to articles) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theses and dissertations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc . </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Libraries have what people want <ul><li>Libraries have information, digitally and otherwise, that people are looking for when they search on Google now. </li></ul><ul><li>Our job is to make what we have more easily accessible to them (Ranganathan’s “save the time of the reader.”) </li></ul>
  11. 11. The role of the catalog <ul><li>The catalog is well-poised to be manipulated to mimic the preferred searching methods that people have manifested in the world of Google. We can harness the catalog to show people that we have what they want. </li></ul><ul><li>This will likely involve: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new public interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new search engine mechanism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A conversion from MARC to an XML-based metadata scheme. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. What does this mean for catalogers? <ul><li>Catalogers will likely continue to do what we’ve done for a century now, but it may involve learning some new aspects of metadata creation. </li></ul><ul><li>Since we’ve mastered MARC (which is a complex, arcane metadata powerhouse), I believe that we are in fine shape to make this transition with relatively little fanfare. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Who will lead the revolution? <ul><li>Libraries are a collective beast, by agreement, so the revolution will probably tumble forward thanks to the input of energy of many of us, in one way or another. </li></ul><ul><li>Because the changes are centered around the virtual world, we will undoubtedly partner more regularly with IT people. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The changing face of the catalog <ul><li>Curiouser, OCLC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Endeca, North Carolina State University </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// /catalog/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Grokker, Stanford University </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RedLightGreen, Research Libraries Group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extensible cataloging (XC), University of Rochester </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The North Carolina State University catalog (Endeca-powered)
  16. 16. Challenge number two: Serials cataloging practices are changing <ul><li>The particular role of serials, and, therefore, serials cataloging, in all of this will be central. </li></ul><ul><li>Records for electronic serials now provide a link to the actual resource, making serials catalog records a direct companion to electronic article indexes. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Granularity <ul><li>Patrons, as never before, are able to access articles at the same time they find the catalog record for the serial in which they reside. </li></ul><ul><li>This instant access to the contents of serials via the catalog record introduces a level of granularity to the catalog which makes it a powerful tool in the digital environment. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Continuing resources <ul><li>Serials fall under the umbrella of continuing resources, which also covers integrating resources. </li></ul><ul><li>This class of materials will continue to become more prevalent than static monographs due to the dynamic capabilities of digital materials. </li></ul><ul><li>What once were merely monographic materials will increasingly morph into integrating resources. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Functional requirements for bibliographic records (FRBR) and serials <ul><li>FRBR describes entities and their relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Because serial titles change so frequently, applying FRBR to serials will be difficult. </li></ul><ul><li>Serials may require a sort of super-record which covers all components of a run of a serial. </li></ul><ul><li>This may involve a serials authority record, though this approach is thought to be problematic. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Access level for serials <ul><li>When implemented, the access level will streamline some aspects of the serials record. </li></ul><ul><li>It should be functional within the framework of current catalogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Using it should save time to create records and will, also, therefore, save money. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Union lists of serials <ul><li>The aggregate of information contained in union lists could be harnessed in the online environment in such a way that users could benefit tremendously (a library without walls.) </li></ul><ul><li>The Oregon Regional Union List of Serials is a rich source of information about local serials holdings. It has some OpenURL capability to help serve individual users. </li></ul>
  22. 22. What to include in the catalog’s brief display <ul><li>Though tangible materials are here to stay, at some point, the electronic format will become the default format. </li></ul><ul><li>Now we alert patrons that an item is an “Electronic journal” or “Electronic book,” where we may, at some point, be more apt to let patrons know instead that this is a “Hard copy journal” or “Hard copy book.” </li></ul>
  23. 23. Successive vs. latest entry cataloging <ul><li>In the card environment, it made sense to create successive entry catalog records for serials. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating resources are cataloged under latest entry rules. </li></ul><ul><li>CONSER has proposed the use of limited latest entry cataloging for minor title changes for serials. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Other issues <ul><li>Resource Description and Access </li></ul><ul><li>Possibility of multiple 260 fields </li></ul><ul><li>LC’s decision not to include series information in their catalog records as of June 2006. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Challenge number three: Managing the effects of these changes on library personnel <ul><li>A library is just a repository of materials without its workers. </li></ul><ul><li>Catalogers are key players in the positive experience that patrons, and “internal customers,” have in the library. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Our people matter <ul><li>We talk about the digital age, and changes in the library and in the library catalog. We need to remember the library personnel who have been contributing their expertise to the success of libraries up until this point. </li></ul><ul><li>Library workers care about the library and its patrons. We want to do our best, and we have pride in the library and the work we do. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Change can be exciting … and it can be stressful <ul><li>To be able to continue to have joy in our work as we navigate the changes that are wrought by the evolution to digital conveyance of information, library personnel need: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An understanding of what changes are coming, and why things are changing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To know the current rules, and to be encouraged to use judgment when applying those rules ( i . e . use cataloger’s judgment) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing training </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Change can be exciting … and it can be stressful (cont.) <ul><li>To be able to continue to have joy in our work … library personnel need (cont.): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To feel we are working within the mission and goals of the unit and the organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be valued openly for our high level of expertise. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Continuing education <ul><li>Online courses are increasingly available and are often of high quality. </li></ul><ul><li>Many people in a unit can take the same class to improve their skills or learn new things. </li></ul><ul><li>Or, one person can take a class and train the others in a unit. </li></ul><ul><li>Training via remote access is cost-effective. </li></ul>
  30. 30. OSU Libraries’ strategic plan <ul><li>Catalogers will be pivotal in the success in carrying out the OSU Libraries’ strategic plan. </li></ul><ul><li>The OSU Libraries’ commitment to migration to digital collections will demand that the catalogers will be involved in providing seamless access to electronic resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Catalogers will be partners in stewardship for information literacy along with our public services colleagues. </li></ul>
  31. 31. The future of cataloging … <ul><li>… is bright. </li></ul><ul><li>We have dedicated people devoted to the task of providing the highest-quality cataloging and public interface. </li></ul><ul><li>We have the knowledge and tools to forge into uncharted territory. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Thank you for attending <ul><li>Discussion/questions? </li></ul>