OCLC Online Computer Library Center The Library Catalog Does it have a future? Gary R. Houk OCLC NYC June 10, 2003 SLA Conference
Overview Where did we come from? Where are we going? Metadata and Standards Propelling discovery Enabling retrieval HELPING PATRONS FIND IT GET IT
Where did we come from? Started with an inventory of physical items: –Metadata on sealed clay tablet tax records –Pinakes, a catalog in 120 books (Alexandria) –The card catalog –COM (Computer Output Microfiche) –MARC format arrives –Shared online catalogs and ILL (OCLC, RLIN) –OPACs (Online Public Access Catalogs) We added electronic resource descriptions We add links to those electronic resources We put the catalogs on the Web … but the indices are not visible outside the library portal
Where are we going? Changing library collections highlow high uniqueness Books Journals Newspapers Govt. docs CD, DVD Maps Scores Special collections Rare books Local/Historical newspapers Local history materials Archives & Manuscripts, Theses & dissertations Research & learning materials ePrints/tech reports Learning objects Courseware E-portfolios Research data files Freely-accessible web resources Open source software Newsgroup archives Blogs RSS collected
Managing metadata (present) For the last century, a significant emphasis on describing and organizing physical collections at the item level Leveraging cooperative metadata resources –Strengthened cooperative programs PCC (BIBCO, CONSER, NACO, SACO) –Better interoperability within the library space Various interfaces of ILS vendors & bib. Utilities Use of Z39.50 Always the push for better, faster, cheaper –Shelf-ready services –Cataloging of widely held non-unique items are more and more automated Numerous standards evolving –METS, MODS, XML, Dublin Core, EAD, etc.
There is life beyond MARC21! Metadata landscape evolving –Plethora of standards, but converging on common base layers (XML, Unicode) –Interoperability gaining favor (e.g., Dublin Core) –Capturing upstream metadata from authors, publishers and distributors (non print & non-English) –Evaluative metadata no longer optional as users expect to see cover art, annotations, reviews, etc. New modes for metadata publishing & transfer –OAI (Open Archives Initiative) A new conceptual model –Functional Requirements for Bibliographic RecordsFunctional Requirements for Bibliographic Records –FRBR implementations nascent, but promising –Grouping of related records could lead to economies for creating new records
Propelling discovery (present) Library catalogs facilitate both known item and more general subject, etc. searches Scope of discovery shifting –Traditionally emphasized physical holdings –Increasingly including records for remotely held resources, and/or, –Serving as portals to facilitate searching remote databases –Consortia/group catalogs increasingly favored – search/show all holdings popular with a set of users Library catalogs just one option against many: –Users use search engines, Amazon, other sources for initial discovery, then searching library catalog for known items
Why Library Catalogs Fail as Information Finding Tools They are unable to search the entire universe of information Local catalogs often lack books that can be requested They have too little information about items Most are unable to accept multiple metadata formats Many have hostile user interfaces Union catalogs often have multiple records for the same item (which to request?) There are too many to consult and no way for users to figure out which one to search
Propelling discovery (forward) The library catalog is rich in content but we need better finding aids (Google, Amazon) –Only librarians like to search, everyone else likes to find (Roy Tennant) Custom local views of collections within the larger union catalog (OCLC Group Services) By state, region, library type, format type, topic,.. Digital Collections –ILS vendors adding digital object modules to support management, searching of digitized materials, electronic finding aids –OCLC also active in this space Harvesting of ContentDM records into WorldCat Increase the visibility of library collections OCLC Library Access Cooperative Pilot test
Propelling greater visibility OCLC will be testing a cooperative service that integrates libraries into the Web services used by information seekers. Public view of WorldCat Access from heavily used web services Links to libraries and their services
What Better Case for FRBR? Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records / IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records Defines a bibliographic model independent of cataloging rules Clusters bibliographic items into a four-level structure: –Work (distinct intellectual or artistic creation) Expression (intellectual or artistic realization of a work) –Manifestation (the physical embodiment of an expression of a work) »Item (a single exemplar of a manifestation)
OCLC & FRBR OCLC Office of Research has developed an algorithm to FRBRize WorldCat Sample use: Researchs Fiction Finder prototype –Research team mined record content from a subset (all records for fiction materials) of WorldCat and applied FRBR algorithm and additional processing to yield: A best-of-related-records-content enriched record view for every work of fiction represented in WorldCat Better searching, browsing (esp. genre), and search results displays for WorldCat fiction records An optimized work-set record display that combines the enriched record view with a user-friendly, presentation of links to groups of related WorldCat records (e.g., a list of links with one link per language to all editions of the work published in language x, language y, etc.)
Record display example WorldCat record Enriched display
Enabling retrieval (present) Beyond discovery - find and retrieve landscape –Traditional call number–based retrieval –Many innovations in ILL/document delivery Circulation-based ILL (esp. consortial ILS) Patron-initiated ILL (e.g., OCLC FirstSearch) ILL management software (e.g., ILLIAD) Multiple choices among doc supplier vendors –Strong trend towards e-resource delivery E-journals (often linked to A&I dbs) E-books (e.g., netLibrary) E-reserves (often supported by ILS, but also done through reserve pak vendors) Standards bodies, associations, technical publishers, govt. agencies routinely issuing materials in e-format
Enabling retrieval (forward) On the horizon: –FRBR could aid ILL and Acquisitions Experimental OCLC xISBN service, similar –Standard patron data format (NCIP) Will facilitate easier patron authentication across systems & suppliers Should make system migration easier –Persistent identifiers Still a problematic area New tools like Open URLs will help –Improved rights and resolution Difficult to solve, but work progressing Useful systems now (e.g., SFX), better soon OCLC working on Rights & Resolution service
OCLC Online Computer Library Center So does the Library Catalog have a future? Definitely But will your Mother recognize it!