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Karen Koyle sez:
There is evidence that many individuals and organizations in the library world do not support the work taking place to develop a next generation of the library cataloging rules. The authors describe the tensions existing between those advocating an incremental change to cataloging process and others who desire a bolder library entry into the digital era.
Libraries have lost their place as primary information providers, surpassed by more agile (and in many cases wealthier) purveyors of digital information delivery services. Although libraries still manage materials that are not available elsewhere, the library’s approach to user service and the user interface is not competing successfully against services like Amazon or Google. If libraries are to avoid further marginalization, they need to make a fundamental change in their approach to user services. The library’s signature service, its catalog, uses rules for cataloging that are remnants of a long departed technology: the card catalog. Modifications to the rules, such as those proposed by the Resource Description and Access (RDA) development effort, can only keep us rooted firmly in the 20th, if not the 19th century. A more radical change is required that will contribute to the library of the future, re-imagined and integrated with the chosen workflow of its users.
NYC has a splendid main public library (on 42nd Street) and good-ish branch libraries. But I haven’t noticed any modernization in the past years, in the sense this writer is referring to.