Monday, December 12, 2011

Re: [ACAT] RE : Old School Search Engines

Posting to Autocat

On 12/12/2011 19:00, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
<snip>
Hal said concerning shelf browsing: 
I'll forestall Mac Elrod (I hope) by pointing out that you may get a similar effect if you use a classified browse index ... 
You do not mention the fastest growing category of all - remote electronic resources. For me, the hope of classed browsing is the major reason to class electronic resources. Classification should be more than "mark and park".
</snip>
I have gone back and forth throughout the years concerning the value of classifying online resources. My current way of thinking is that classification could be immensely valuable, but its functionality must change substantially from what it is today. Items that are virtual can have multiple class numbers from multiple classification systems, and consequently they can reside on different "shelves" simultaneously, while being rearranged according to the needs of each individual searcher (referring back to my Harry Potter example of the books flying all over the library).

I suspect that in the future, the members of the cataloging/metadata community will find themselves rehashing a lot of the old debate of classified vs. dictionary arrangements. Keyword access avoids many of the problems within the traditional classified catalogs that made the dictionary catalog such an important option. Best would be a blending of the classification arrangements with the syndetic structures of the subject headings, and something really valuable could result.

That is, if people will still want our catalog records in the new environment.

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