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The Changing Landscape of Contemporary Cataloging

The Changing Landscape of Contemporary Cataloging

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Published by Abe Crystal
Intended to contribute to the current dialogue about how the emerging information environment is impacting cataloging issues, this survey paper covers a broad range of topics, such as how search engines compare with integrated library systems, and includes some thoughts on how cataloging processes may evolve to continue to remain relevant. The author suggests that there is a need for significant changes in integrated library system interfaces and infrastructures as well as some changes in cataloging practice. The value of descriptive vs. nondescriptive elements in the catalog record and some pros and cons of the MARC format are covered.
Intended to contribute to the current dialogue about how the emerging information environment is impacting cataloging issues, this survey paper covers a broad range of topics, such as how search engines compare with integrated library systems, and includes some thoughts on how cataloging processes may evolve to continue to remain relevant. The author suggests that there is a need for significant changes in integrated library system interfaces and infrastructures as well as some changes in cataloging practice. The value of descriptive vs. nondescriptive elements in the catalog record and some pros and cons of the MARC format are covered.

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Published by: Abe Crystal on Sep 09, 2010
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09/25/2010

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Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Faculty Publications, UNL Libraries 
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Year 

The Changing Landscape of Contemporary Cataloging
Sue Ann Gardner
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, sgardner2@unl.edu
This paper is posted at DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln.http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libraryscience/168
 
TheChangingLandscape
of
ContemporaryCataloging
SueAnnGardner
ABSTRACT.
Intendedtocontributetothecurrentdialogueabouthowtheemerginginformationenvironmentisimpactingcatalogingissues,thissurveypapercoversabroadrange
of
topics,suchas
how
searchenginescomparewithintegratedlibrarysystems,andincludessomethoughtsonhowcatalogingprocessesmayevolvetocontinuetoremainrelevant.Theauthorsuggeststhatthereisaneedforsignificantchangesinintegratedlibrarysysteminterfacesandinfrastructuresaswellassomechangesincatalogingpractice.
The
value
of
descriptivevs.nondescriptiveelementsinthecatalogrecordandsomeprosandcons
of
the
MARC
formatarecovered.
doi:1O.1300/J104v45n04_06
[Articlecopiesavailable
for
afee
fromTheHaworthDocumentDeliveryService:1-800-HAWORTH.E-mailaddress:<docdelivery@haworthpress.com>Website:<http://www.HaworthPress.com>
©
2008
byTheHaworthPress.
All
rightsreserved.]
KEYWORDS.
Future
of
cataloging,onlinecatalogs
INTRODUCTION:CATALOGS,CATALOGING
AND
THEWEB
Catalogingandcatalogsarepoisedtoexperienceaseismicshiftinthenearfuture.BecausepatronsareincreasinglyseekinginformationthroughsearchengineslikeGoogle,onepotentialgoalinlibrariesistore-tooltheintegratedlibrarysystem(lLS)sothatitwillbethepreferred
SueAnnGardnerisCatalogingandMetadataLibrarian,322LoveLibrary,UniversityofNebraska-Lincoln,Lincoln,NE68588-4100(E-mail:sgardner2@unl.edu).Cataloging
&
ClassificationQuarterly,Vol.45(4)2008Availableonlineathttp://ccq.haworthpress.com
©
2008byTheHaworthPress.Allrightsreserved.doi:l0.1300/J104v45n04_0681
 
82
CATALOGING
&
CLASSIFICATIONQUARTERLY
gatewaytoinformationdiscoveryamongpatronsbothin-houseandelsewhere.
1,2
Withtheexcellentqualityof,andconstantimprovementsto,searchengines,catalogersarebeingforcedtoreconsidertheirroleintoday'sinformationenvironment.Thisisapressingconcernbecause,inresponsetothesedevelopmentsoutsidethelibraryprofession,declarationsarecomingfromauthoritativesourcesabouthowweneedtoadjustourcatalogingpracticesimmediately,suchasceasingtracingofseriesinformation.'seeminglywhetherthosedecisionsareinthebestinterestsofresourcediscoveryornot.Sincetheadventofmoderncatalogingover100yearsago,catalogershavecreatedsurrogaterecordsfortheitemsheldin,oraccessedthrough,alibrary.Thesurrogateoffersadescription,andaclassificationnumber,andauthority-controlledsubjecttermstoassistwithcollationoflikeitems.Thecallnumber,whichcontainstheclassificationnumber,determinesthephysicallocationofapieceinacollection,therebyphysicallycollatingitemsbyprimarysubject.Catalogrecordsprovideauthority-controllednameterms(personal,corporate,geographic,andmeeting).IntheUnitedStatessincethe1980s,mostoftheserecordshavebeencreatedusingthemachinereadablecataloging(MARC)format,whichincludesaplethoraofcodedfieldswhicharenotpartofthetraditionalinternationalstandardbibliographicdescription(lSBD)formatbutpotentiallymaybemanipulatedintheelectronicenviromnent.Asremote-accessdigitalproductsbecameincreasinglyavailableintheearlytomid-1990s,thediscussioninlibrariesturnedto"accessversusownership,"andcatalogersexpandedtheircatalogingtoprovideaccesstoitemsthatwerenotphysicallyheld.Inthepastseveralyears,cataloginghasalsorealignedtoincludemethodsfordescribinganever-increasingnumberofnon-textdigitalproductssuchasstreamingvideo,streamingaudio,remoteaccessstillimages,continuallyupdatedWebsites,geographicdatasets,andotherformats.Additionally,newmanifestationsofolderworksnowappearmorefrequentlyduetoreneweduserdemand,asisdescribedinAnderson's"TheLongTail."!Theconceptof"outofprint"ismutating.Inall,thechangingeconomicmodelsinpublishinganddistributionwillaffectcatalogers'work.Justasabooknolongerneedsasubstantiallocalreadershipinordertojustifyitspurchase,ourlocalpatronsmaybetreatedtoaccesstoever-individualizedresources,andthebibliographicgatewaysthatwechoosetoemploywillreflectthis.WiththearrivalandrapidevolutionoftheWeb,thenovel
Flatland
comestomind,inwhichtheprotagonistisatwo-dimensionalfigure.HefirstdescribesthesocialstructureofFlatlandasthoughitwereabsolute

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