Thursday, May 3, 2007

"Focus on the needs that they meet, not the methods that they use."

That quote from Karen Calhoun, in her presentation On Competition for Catalogs and Catalogers.

Some notes from her talk this morning:

Rethink the catalog in light of a changed world: the current model is broken.
  • Users not getting what they want
  • Content has changed, users have changed
  • Library service model must change
  • Catalog must change, and cataloging must change
Disintermediation: decrease in guided access to content; users are more self-sufficient
How do we save users' time in this new arena, when the service model is not longer library-centric?
Shift in user preferences for Web-based info & multimedia formats

Popularity of digital resources as primary sources (e.g. Valley of the Shadow,

Social networks can fulfill information needs (e.g. LinkedIn,

"Catalogers have been through hell in the past ten years."

A new kind of cataloger:
  • examines assumptions
  • involved w/ all types of info objects
  • moves to next gen systems & services
  • make info more visible and easier to use
  • metadata and beyond
Focus on the needs of particular disciplines & communities
Example: - both a resource portal (through a curated index) and social networking site for life sciences at Cornell
(Blogger's note: this looks like a great resource!)

Opportunities for cataloging and catalogers:
  • More digitization --> more full-text search --> more metadata. Metadata recycling & reuse will be crucial.
  • Digitization projects are an opportunity for catalogers
  • Archives and special collections are on the rise; there's likely to be "a ton of work" for interested catalogers

Increasing visibility of collections and services
  • We need to be where our users' eyes are; their eyes aren't on library webpages
  • Offsite storage as a challenge to browsing
  • Partnerships
  • Robust, interconnected discovery & content delivery systems

Metadata is a strategic issue, yet 'library-type' metadata will need to be reexamined

Blurring of lines between public services & technical services

For more on this topic, check out the forthcoming piece in Library Hi Tech - Being a Librarian: Metadata and Metadata Specialists in the Twenty-first Century:

Karen's report to the LOC:

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