Tuesday, December 14, 2010

RE: Dublin Core as a replacement for MARC21

Posting to Autocat

John Vosmek wrote:
Frankly, I don't think I want non-specialists designing my ILS.
I think it would be laughable for somebody to suggest that other complicated endeavors should be simplified so that programmers can understand them, but somehow, for us, it's a constant clamor.
and Duimovich, George wrote:
>I would agree, only I believe that this thinking misses the point: nobody is suggesting simplification, or making it easier for programmers, with any terrible compromises on our part. What IS being suggested is that **we get our act in order** so that we're better able to limit the number of problems that require complex and expensive solutions.
One consideration that we are taking for granted here is the continued existence of a separate ILS, and I don't think it should be taken for granted. Once all of Google Books eventually comes online (which could happen *very soon*), people will most probably start there and use the mashed-up metadata found there along with browser plugins and so on, to find what is in our ILSs. I don't know how many patrons, after starting in Google Books, will continue searching in a separate ILS, or if they will expect to have links wherever necessary, from Google Books into any local information they will need.

Just imagine the entire full-text of Google Books is available, and imagine the local ILS. Who will choose to *start* in the local ILS? All I can imagine is that it will be people who above all, want a physical resource. But even then, I could imagine that someone would prefer to search Google Books and if they find something they like, they will expect--from Google Books--to be made aware that there is a physical version available to them by clicking on a link, or having the relevant information embedded.

We are kind of seeing the beginnings of this now with Worldcat Local, where the idea of the ILS is changing. These are some of the reasons why I think the information environment is changing and going more and more out of our control. Of course people will like Google Books when they come online. Naturally those same people will complain loudly--all the while they are using them. People will not stop using Google Books just because it's not perfect. Once they search there, they will find much more there than they could ever hope to deal with, and where will that leave us and our ILSs?

This is why it is absolutely essential that our data fit into those kinds of new tools, otherwise our data will just be ignored since people won't have enough time to look at everything. I think we can fit in, but it means fundamental change.

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