On 14/11/2012 16:41, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
On 11/14/2012 4:25 AM, James Weinheimer wrote:
Karen’s example of including the local holdings is interesting, but it can be done in a variety of ways, including browser add-ons.
Are you serious? Yes, it can be done in a variety of ways. The way you are suggesting is the way that will basically zero impact, nobody’s going to install browser plugins, and many currently popular browsers (including much of mobile!) don’t support plugins.
While there are many ways to share our data in a way that can be used by other apps, not just “linked data”/RDF (and Karen is saying this lately too) — only ways that actually do THAT are going to be meaningful. Browser plugins, really?
I think we are in fact doomed, and catalogers and libraries will be irreelvant and possibly not even exist in ~15 years. The problem is our community is completely incapable of understanding, let alone acting upon, what actually must be done to keep our metadata practices relevant and useful. Browser plugins?
Yes, I am serious. At least that would be giving it a try and not waiting for some non-existent pot of gold at the end of the linked data/RDF rainbow. People do use the Zotero plugin in place of the expensive options; maybe there could be a chance of getting something included in Zotero or Mendeley. Of course that would only be a stopgap–not a solution and why I keep saying over and over that it is APIs that we must create. But even that goes so far as well. You mention our metadata practices but as I have discussed, I don’t think the problem is with our metadata practices as much as it is with the fact that our catalogs have been broken–not our catalog records but our catalogs.
The real problem is and has been the waste of time and resources on RDA and FRBR which are focused on the catalog records. All this time, effort and money and the catalogs will still be broken, and even more so in some cases.
To keep from being doomed means to focus on what libraries provide that is different from everybody else–not to try and compete with the Googles, the Yahoos, and so on plus the publishers, because we will lose. Libraries have to compete where they are strong–not where they are weak. What is it that libraries provide their communities that is different? Is it only the option for a free copy of something that you can borrow for a couple of weeks? I confess that means more during the economic downturn but it’s still not enough.