Thursday, August 18, 2011

Re: A Day Made of Glass

Posting to NGC4LIB

On 18/08/2011 12:40, Bernhard Eversberg wrote:
<snip>
18.08.2011 11:13, James Weinheimer:
Completely correct. While this level of reliability is extremely important, I think that the public may consider it less seriously than it should be.
There you are, they are taking it for granted. And this at a time when, more than ever in history, philosophers and scientists insist that we can and therefore should take nothing for granted, when even the universe, every other week, turns out to not be what it used to be. And if they fail to get the public's attention, for the more mundane matters, how can we hope to.

But seriously, you confirm that your suggestions are on another level. Which we can turn to after we can take most of my list for granted ...
</snip>
I don't see why we cannot attack on several fronts at once. In my personal opinion, it is becoming increasingly necessary to try to seize people's imaginations, to demonstrate that we are ahead of the curve, or at least, capable of it. The local catalog can be so much more than the local catalog, but it will take quite a bit of ingenuity--starting *now* because events are showing that time may be running short.

*If* we can't start on the newer, more novel, powers of a catalog until the other capabilities you mention are in place--and I still say this is much more a matter of rule *enforcement* than rule *creation*--we will be waiting for a long, long time, because enforcement of standards, although unquestioned in the broader world of business, is a novel, contentious idea in the traditional library world and will take some time to implement (if ever!). This, while the major part of the information world is moving away faster and faster from our traditional tools and methods. Maybe at first, they were moving away at the relative speed of a horse's trot or on a bicycle, but now, they are traveling at the speed of a train, and someday, perhaps soon (the Day Made of Glass example) they will be moving away from us at jet plane speed or even of a rocket. How would we ever catch up?

Yes, my suggestions are on another level, but they would make a difference in how people really view libraries and librarians. If we could demonstrate that we could supply services that people openly say that they want and need, budgets would cease to be the incredible problem they are now: your successes ensure that the resources are given to you; others want to cooperate, and solutions are much easier to find.

More than anything else, libraries need a real success they can point to.

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