Posting to NGC4LIB
On Mon, 28 Jun 2010 07:59:10 -0500, Mitchell, Michael wrote:
We use “Choice” and similar publications for suggestions of quality Web sites to include in our catalog. I have no trouble with the limited number of resulting catalog entries since our catalog is not a Web search engine and I don’t think our students expect it to be. I’ve added 5-600 Web sites in the past year or so. These sites are good resources that happen to be on the Web (and free).
But what do students expect to find in the catalog? The local books plus a small number of websites, and they still must use Google anyway? I am not finding any fault with this–it is happening in every library, including my own–but it results in making unclear the difference between the “Web search engine” and the library catalog. For example, there are wonderful tools such as Intute http://www.intute.ac.uk/ and Infomine http://infomine.ucr.edu/,
and they should not be ignored, plus there are lots of specialist sites. But how do you use these sites?
As a specific example, let’s say that the selector decides that all of the resources selected for the “Humanities” section in Intute should be added to your catalog. I don’t know how many there are, but there are a *lot* and for some libraries, it could easily be a significant proportion of the yearly catalog production.
Every one of the sites in Intute has been selected by a librarian and/or expert. Does it make sense to recatalog all of these resources one-by-one and then have to go through the hassle of maintaining all of the records whenever something changes? And remember, Intute is only one project and there are many, many more, and while there is metadata, they do not do MARC21/AACR2/LCSH/LCC. Actually, a site such as Intute provides real quality selection and can be pretty well trusted, while a more difficult site to work with would be, e.g. the Internet Archive, which has scads of wonderful resources, but does not have nearly the quality of “selection”. The old methods and workflows aim at creating new records in the local database (although when you are lucky you might find usuable copy), and this makes a certain amount of sense when dealing with unchanging physical resources located within the local library, but these same methods result in endless, and essentially useless duplication when used for the so-called
“remote accessed electronic resources”.
And of course, this includes the duplication of selection.
As a selector, I would not want to burden my cataloging department by cataloging materials that are already in Infomine and Intute, plus it could take a very long time to get them done. Is there a better and more efficient way?