On 07/04/2013 04:07, Greenberg, Jane wrote:
… My comments are, therefore, directed to the below numbers indicating that cataloging (as it was defined in the survey) is becoming increasingly a para professional activity, much outsourcing, etc.
What concerns me is the significance of cataloging — broadly speaking, and that these number may present an inaccurate picture. Simply, I am thinking about the larger enterprise (for lack of a better word) of cataloging throughout the entire university, encompassing digital curation, archival cataloging, data management, repository development, etc., (metadata – metadata – metadata) where cataloging staff are either being called upon, or have a potential. In short, how we talk about cataloging matters. I see over and over again .. folks are reinventing what has been studied and known (I see this with my data colleagues)… and so.. I just want to raise the issue here with this reporting and how we scope and discuss cataloging. (I know I’m biased, b/c I think everything is cataloging/metadata). I’d appreciate hearing from others on this topic either on this list or separately.
I also found an excerpt which has a bit more information. http://www.primaryresearch.com/uploaded/admin_reports/sample_reports/20130404_122424Excerpt_from_The_Survey_of_Academic_Library_Cataloging_Practices,_2013.doc
To me, this study may present the first more or less concrete consequences of the impact on administrators of RDA and FRBR, and it certainly is not very impressive or hopeful. RDA’s upgrading the abbreviations–a vast undertaking when applied to the headings–will just be seen as silly by most with extremely minor consequences and in this way will be seen as similar to the stereotypical “catalogers are always worried about punctuation”. It only gives fire to the age-old idea that cataloging is merely a “clerking activity”. If the new relator codes and new relationships are implemented for *searching* and not just display, these may be seen more favorably by the public initially, that is, until everyone begins to realize that those new codes hide even more than they reveal, as I discussed in my podcast Cataloging Matters No. 16: Catalogs, Consistency and the Future. The majority of the library users will discover the problems, there should be no doubt about that, and they will conclude–rightly–that the relationship codes give false results and if they want “true” results, they must use other tools. By what I have seen on the RDA-L list, people are enjoying adding more and more relators, which makes any searching possibilities even more complicated.
I personally believe it is only ethical to let people know about this openly. On the other hand, if the relators are only for display, then they will have a “big” of an impact on everything as typing out the abbreviations, or, practically nil.
I agree that cataloging should be more important than ever because there is information within single institutions and inter-institutional that is positively screaming out for control. To manage all of that however, I think will demand new workflows, entirely new procedures and even mindsets. If a selector said to their catalog department to “get control of the opencourseware materials”, or ITunes U, both having some wonderful resources that people definitely want, a cataloging department would disintegrate under the load. Cataloging “just” the items of interest to scholars that are in the Internet Archive would be too much, but what about the open access materials? Even beyond that, there is an incredible amount. HathiTrust and the DPLA have promise but seem to be focused on the world of books and other printed materials, at least for now, while the universe of information that is of interest to library users is expanding exponentially and rapidly.
While I don’t think that many changes are required in the cataloging of books and other printed materials, I am coming to believe that the cataloging of web resources using the traditional “one-by-one method” is not achievable–not without a huge influx of new catalogers, which is clearly not in the cards. Still, people need, and want, to know about these materials. I believe there may be some new methods that could be applied, but a radical change would be needed.
There is dire need for the talents of catalogers but for the next several years, unfortunately, their efforts will be misdirected.