Re: [ACAT] AltaVista’s demise

Posting to Autocat

On 11/07/2013 23:23, john g marr wrote:

<snip>
On Thu, 11 Jul 2013, MULLEN Allen wrote:

No matter what search engine you use, your web traffic is still being gathered, analyzed and stored for future use

Not necessarily true, nor eternally necessary.
</snip>

The real point of this, I think, is that there is a real conundrum here. The reason Google … [et al.] type search engines are so successful is precisely because they do have this massive amount of information about you, and about me. Take that away and their power decreases to that of pre-Google days. (This is understandable for those who remember. For those who do not, the search engine results back then were horrible and the butt of jokes–including jokes from me)

To bring all of this back to cataloging, it is my personal belief that libraries have answers to all of this. And those answers are NOT RDA or linked data or any of those other side projects dominating librarianship right now. Those answers lie in our history, our ethics, and our practices. The history of libraries have dealt with all of these issues and we can handle them in the future–that is, if we decide to actually take steps that are fully legitimate and are based squarely in what it is we have done for the last 100+ years. Nobody else has anything even remotely like that.

These are the issues that can make the public sit up and take notice. It’s not even all that political–or not any more political than libraries have ever been. It is just extending our traditional practices into the newly emerging information world.

But many seem to be more interested in matters of “how do I do this in RDA, even though I have done exactly the same thing in other cataloging rules”?

Catalogs (aka “search engines”) can make a real difference if people want them to.

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