Thursday, May 3, 2007

Future of MARC: Challenges and opportunities of 21st century cataloging

Dr. William E. Moen, SLIS, Univ. of North Texas

Presentation will be available on the MLA website after the conference.

We'd better be showing our value to our users. What services do we need to provide in order to keep us from becomming marginalized.

Focus on the methods - what we don't want to do is to expose our really complex structures to our users. Don't need to know - we will marginalize ourselves even more if we insist on telling out users how these systems work.

Discussion is only partially about MARC

broader digital info landscape
oops - slide changed!

Catalogs are limited in light of all sorts of other resource discovery tools that are out there. if we don't accept this, we are not placing oursleves effectively in the market.

What do we mean when we say MARC?
>>>structural elements of the format - this may go away in favor of mark up language

>>>Metadata scheme as defined by MARC 21
Fields, subfields, indicators and their semantics.

Approaching MARC's future
>requirements for a record format / metatadata scheme

>Resonding to recent developments

>Looking at empirical data.

Thinking about requirements

what metadata scheme is appropriate? Granularity - lossless data mapping - don't want to lose the finer shades of meaning intrinsic to the original data. XML will be the basis for this

McCallum/s 10 format attribures of MARC forward
Hierarch support
Cooperative management

AT ALA 2007 there will be a program on furture of marc

Recent developments
FRBR - conceptural model for the bibliographic universe, according to Barbara Tillett
The aim of the frbr study was to produce a framework that would provide a clear, precistly stated understanding of bibliogrpahic info.

frbr model
entity-relationship modeling

what is it that the bib record aims to be about
User tasks - what is it that we expect the record to achieve in terms of answering user needs?
Find? Identify? Select? Obtain?

frbr is having an amazing impact on catalogs - new terminology and conceptural modes incorporated in
Statement on cataloging principles

Assisting in understandning better the range of relationships in the bib universe

Implementation in catalogs to improve user experience.

Next generation of description
RDA - Resouce description and access
Focus on guidelines fo rcontent creation
Separation from syntax or record format

move in RDA to be totally separate from record format.

Grassroots effort to address next generation loibrary catalog and data format (wikis for example)

Key development - use of the term metadata. how do we link up with other sources of metadata, commercial, museum descriptions, etc. We need to acknowledge that we don't have enough catalogers in the world to mark up everything that is good out there. We need to learn to accept metadata from other sources.

What do catalogers actually do with the MARC record?
a record is an artifact that can be examined. it's a result of the cataloging enterprise and includes loads of decisions that were made as to history of description in your library.
ou follow rules, standards, encode it in a MARC structure. MARC is very rich; it has over 2000 data structures. How do we use all of these? Is the richness exploited? There are about 500 places within MARC that can hold author/title info!

Did an analyis - 4% of all fields used accounted for 80% of occurences
96% of all fields acount for only 20% of occurrences

Dr.Moen did a project called MCDU (MARC content designation utilization)
Looked at the artifiact created and look at what is used, not used, how fields are used. Used the entire world cat database of over 56 million records. Set up a procedure to take apart the bib records in a mySQL databaswe. Needed to break down the records so they could meaningfully look at all parts of the records. Divided into LC records and non LC records. Separated out records by item type because some MARC tags are relevant only to the type of material they dscribe. See the slide presentation on the MLA website for details on the findings of this study.
Lots and lots of fields not used regulary. 16 fields are used commonly across all 10 formats. they are the usual ones 020, 050, 082, 100, 245, etc. Use this info to develop a core of kinds of info that is the most useful

Trying to conceptualize a change in trends of utilization

This report will be published within the next couple of months.

To consider -whatis needed in a bib record? What is needed to support user tasks? Management of info resources? How do systems use the infrequently used data. What do we do about the 62% of all fields used in less that 1% of all records in OCLC WorldCat? Coding has to be done to prepare for these little used fields.

We need to rethink MARC in light of value? How can we justify the high cost of MARC? What is a 'real good' MARC record? How can we deal with the shrinking budgets if we are focus on this highly priced format? There are lots of metadata schemes; MARC won't be one of the choices!


What is the next step in the decision making process - in that 62% of fields used in 1% of records - who will decide if these should be kept or not? Who will make the decision?

Dr.Moen is doing these presentations, trying to get the info out to the community and the cataloging rules people. Start by looking at your own cataloging practices. To what extent do you use certain fields. Hopes for an open discussion even thoough we might not have a vote on the national level. Dr. Moen would like to 'freeze marc' right at this point so it can be further examined.

Question - can you map your commonly used fields to dublin core

Yes, can be done.

No comments: