On 07/02/2013 18:45, MULLEN Allen wrote:
Ann also writes: “I think in 10 years the catalog will be gone and all but the smallest/poorest libraries will have some sort of discovery overlay for everything.” I suspect you are right. I’m also hopeful that library-curated metadata will be more widely available and utilized for discovery outside of library-controlled systems.
I only hope this is wrong. Libraries will always need some kind of system for inventory control, but it seems to me that information discovery as done by the popular “information discovery” systems is just too new to throw everything out. Library catalogs provide many services that people don’t yet realize and appreciate, such as controlled, reliable access to materials selected by experts. This is something that the public has been clamoring for, for quite some time now. The problem is, catalogs are still “focusing on their own navels”. They don’t want to recognize that there is a real world of wonderful and worthwhile materials outside their own walls (that is, nobody wants to select free, open websites) and that the methods used in the catalog are obsolete (that is, browsing in alphabetical arrangements).
It seems to me that until these two fundamental issues are dealt with, the library catalog doesn’t stand a chance in providing anything that the public wants. Not RDA, nor FRBR and not even the linked data movement touch these concerns, but unfortunately, it is where all the resources are going.
I am sure that sooner or later, some organization will provide those services that people want–maybe not libraries, but somebody will. Does our profession really want to go so “gentle into that good night”?