Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Re: Outsourcing (fwd)

Posting to Autocat

On 03/10/2011 22:25, Aaron Kuperman wrote:
<snip>
... Please note that I am suggesting that many if not most libraries would probably do better to outsource since unless one can afford multiple full time catalogers they never will get very good at it - cataloging is learned by experience and if you only spend a few hours a week at it you won't get learn it well.
</snip>
Well, I am really glad you mentioned this instead of me. I think this observation brings up a couple of broader points, however. First, if we assume that the current standards are so high that many libraries and librarians cannot be expected to fulfill them, could it be a problem that the current standards are too "high"? Or if not too high, are they focused on the wrong areas? In other words, why doesn't the current situation work? Do our standards really have to be so "high" (or however we want to characterize them) as to make them practically unachievable except for the most highly trained and highly specialized of us? While such a situation may have been sustainable in the past, is it reasonable to expect it to continue into the indefinite future?

And second, when comparing this to the possible implementation of RDA, it seems as if the current situation (which already seems inadequate) will only get more complicated instead of less. Can it be realistically
achieved?

Is this the correct direction our field should be heading?

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