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Immaculate catalogues Taxonomy, metadata and resource-discovery in the 21st Century.

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Presentation on theme: "Immaculate catalogues Taxonomy, metadata and resource-discovery in the 21st Century."— Presentation transcript:

1 Immaculate catalogues Taxonomy, metadata and resource-discovery in the 21st Century

2 2 Introduction As to persons who see no difficulties, who speak of immaculate catalogues, who laugh at rules, at method, at principles, at accuracy, at consistency, and at such other bibliographic follies, they are not worth listening to…any more than a blind man… when he descants on the faults of a painting or the art of colouring in general. A. Panizzi Letter to the Earl of Ellesmere, 29 th January, 1848

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4 4 The challenge confronting cataloguing Market for traditional publications continues to expand New kinds of information resource Competition from other mediation services Perception of high cost/low value for money Fiscal constraints Declining workforce

5 5 Expanding market UK publishing The number of new monograph titles/new editions has more than doubled since [1] The rate of increase is accelerating. [1] Sources: Whitaker Information Services ( ); Nielsen Bookscan (2005)

6 6 Expanding Market World Monograph Publishing Expectation is that volume of publishing will continue to increase in mature economies. The chart shows growth trends % over 3 years. Volume of research level publication is also expected to increase at a slower rate. Source: British Librarys content strategy – Meeting the knowledge needs of the nation

7 7 Expanding Market World Monograph Publishing Expectation is that volume of publishing will increase in emerging economies. Supported by growth trends over last 3 years Volume of research level publication is also expected to increase, but from a relatively low base. Source: British Librarys content strategy – Meeting the knowledge needs of the nation

8 8 Fiscal constraints UK monographs market grew by approximately 18% per annum BL Grant-in-Aid increase by 0.75% over the same period Do more with less.

9 9 Electronic media New kinds of information resource Traditional Media

10 10 New mediation services / value for money..our bibliographic systems have not kept pace with this changing environment…Our users expect simplicity and immediate reward and Amazon, Google, and iTuenes are the standards against which we are judged. Our current systems pale beside them. Rethinking how we provide bibliographic services for the University of California: final report, December 2005 / Bibliographic Services Task Force. The University of California Libraries

11 11 The current Library catalog is poorly designed for the tasks of finding, discovering, and selecting the growing set of resources available in our libraries. It is best at locating and obtaining a known item….We offer a fragmented set of tools to search for published information (catalogs, A&I databases, full text journal sites, institutional repositories, etc.)….for the user these distinctions are arbitrary. Rethinking how we provide bibliographic services for the University of California: final report, December 2005 / Bibliographic Services Task Force. The University of California Libraries

12 12 Rising Costs / Declining numbers US Technical Services = $239m FY2004 Library of Congress - $44m per annum British Library - £5.8m ($11m) FY 2005/6 33% of US cataloguers will retire by 2010 Aging faculty Declining student numbers LIS Syllabus threatened Leysen, Joan M. and Boydston, Jeanne M. K.. Supply and demand for cataloguers present and future. LRTS 49(4) pp

13 13 What is to be done? Is cataloguing relevant in the web environment? Short – medium term Medium – long term If so, how should cataloguing change to meet those challenges?

14 14 Is cataloguing relevant in the web environment? Short-Medium Term YES! Print still major (and growing) medium for communicating information for recording knowledge for entertainment

15 15 Is cataloguing relevant in the web environment? Long Term YES! But, the answer is complicated… Technological obsolescence i-book Self describing resources Key words rule

16 16 Is cataloguing relevant in the web environment? Long Term Non-textual resources are not self describing Legacy collections are not self describing Mass digitization How do you search the worlds knowledge? Relevance ranking & keywords not enough Google & Microsoft reuse existing catalogue records

17 17 Is cataloguing relevant in the web environment? Long Term Cataloguing is not just description Establishes context for a resource Answers real world questions What else has this author written? What is there on this subject? Is there a suitable version for ME? Work 1 Person 1 Expression 1.1 Manifestation Expression 1.2 Person 2 Institution Item Person 3 Work 2 Work 3

18 18 Is cataloguing relevant in the web environment? Long Term Cataloguers have created a map of: recorded knowledge Humanitys intellectual activity …Consider navigating all this with just a gazetteer of names and locations Work 1 Person 1 Expression 1.1 Manifestation Expression 1.2 Person 2 Institution Item Person 3 Work 2 Work 3

19 19 Change to survive – use metadata more effectively The OPAC has a limited life expectancy Failure to exploit metadata for navigation Use web technologies to integrate Presentational strengths of printed catalogues Range of access points from on-line catalogues Power of web to express relationships R.I.P

20 20 Change to survive– sell the value to end user Cataloguing saves time and money of end users Cataloguing is a public good Public goods are difficult to quantify Research demonstrates fourfold return on investment in British Library Measuring our value: results of an independent economic impact study commissioned by the British Library to measure the Librarys direct and indirect value to the UK economy.

21 21 Electronic media Change to survive – put Web resources in context Not monolithic Selection Filtering

22 22 Electronic media Change to survive – put Web resources in context Not monolithic Selection Filtering Archival structure Simplified / derived metadata

23 23 Change to survive – Collaboration Well supported within the library sector Common content standards Formats and schema for interoperability Closer engagement with other sectors Archives and museums Book trade Rights management Bibliographic continuum – reuse of metadata through the supply chain

24 24 Change to survive – Scalability Move from craft to manufacture Transfer production from library to commerce Automation of metadata extraction Unambiguous identification ISTC / ISPI More accessible documentation RDA Focus on creating infrastructure and adding value

25 25 Conclusions We need clarity about our values There is hope: Online retailing catalogue driven Internet Movie Database based on bibliographic concepts Underlying logic of the semantic web is that one day everyone will be a cataloguer.

26 26 Conclusions … deeply impressed as I am myself with the difficulties often alluded to, I am still more impressed with the difficulty of communicating to others and equal sense of these difficulties. In attempting to do so, I must enter into minutiae and details, not only apparently insignificant, but also not very easy to make plain in writing… Sir Anthony Panizzi

27 27 Questions


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