Peoples Catalog for the 21st Century


Madeline Douglass writes \"Berman\'s catalog has always been instantly and continuously responsive
to the pulse of global culture, it embraces and celebrates diversity,
recognizes and defines emerging trends. It is the true Peoples Catalog
for the 21st century.

Dynamic and ever evolving, not limited by bias or outdated language or
censorship, Berman\'s catalog is NOT a relic of the past, it\'s NOT obsolete,
it\'s NOT incompatible with the internet. It can, more than any other existing
resource, be used to help us find the information we need on the internet.

Berman\'s catalog anticipated the variety, diversity and immediacy of the
internet by providing a richly detailed map of subjects directing us to inter-
related information and leading us not only to the epiphany of discovering the
answer, but of discovering ourselves.

Berman catalog knows that we are not all the same, we do not all conform
to one standard, we do not all \"speak the same language.\"

Page 3 of the Project Detail section of the HCL document states that :
\"If the software is flawed or lacks functionality, access is impeded.\"

Jerry Pennington and the designers of the HCL databases were technical
Innovators. They created a powerful sophisticated environment for the
data that far exceeded what was possible at the time.

Most of us have had the experience of moving from paper to mainframe,
from Dos, to Windows or Mac and to the Web. Software can be continuously
upgraded, custom programmed or specifically designed to accommodate any
set of data.

Cooperative relationships between the creators of the data and the designers
of the databases can adapt the structure, content and features of any data
for web.

I believe that technology has advanced to the point that it is flexible
and can accomodate both standard and \"non-standard\" data. The right designer
could design a database that would integrate the HCL databases with
\"standard\" databases and include features for websites and eBooks.

Although the Authority Files have been focus of our rescue efforts, the
Biblographic Database which is the existing HCL Catalog also needs to be saved.

Page 1 of HCL\'s Technical Plan Overview states that OCLC \"will compare HCL
records to WorldCat records and when a match is found (as it will be in most cases)
that the original HCL catalog record will be replaced.\" This means that the
existing Hennepin County Library catalog will cease to exist.

The Bibliographic database was the end product of the HCL cataloging process.
It is the most well known, most visible resource HCL produced. It is widely used
by the public and librarians. We also request that in addition to the HCL Authority
file, that a copy of the Catalog...the Bibliographic database be preserved and
made accessible to the public.


Is an example of a successful product which uses Sandy Berman\'s
subject headings which is widely subscribed to by public libraries.

For the story of Sandy Berman\'s involvement with NoveList

NoveList was first released in 1994 and is now licensed in one out of
every five public libraries in the United States. Novelist helps readers
find new fiction based on books they\'ve read or topics in which they
are interested. NoveList supports searching via 17,000,00 subject
headings and provides subject and keyword access to over 86,000 fiction
titles for adults, young adults and children.

As Sandy Berman\'s response to the HCL press release points out,
Hennepin County Library received $100,000 in royalties for NoveList.

It\'s possible that the HCL authority file and original catalog could
become a successful product that would be widely subscribed to
by those of us who have found that the Library of Congress
Subject Headings have limited usefulness for cataloging our
materials. Potential customers for this product would be public
libraries, corporate libraries, associations, and publishers
of print and non-print media.

Is this a product you would use?

Contact for NoveList:

Duncan Smith
[email protected]

Discussions are underway to send the HCL Authority Files and
Bibliographic Catalog database to the ALA Archives at the University of
Illinois at Urbana Champaign. There are no plans (as yet) to keep the
databases alive by adding new subject headings to them.

It is important say that we want an active database that can be searched,
not static screen captures or data that can be viewed but not searched.

Contacts at the ALA Archives:

Christopher Prom
Assistant Archivist
American Library Association Archives
University of Illinois Library at Urbana Champaign
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana IL 61801
phone: 217-333-0798
fax: 217-333-2868
[email protected]

Paula Kaufman
University Librarian
University of Illinois Library at Urbana Champaign
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana IL 61801
fax: 217-244-7201
[email protected]

In the July 14, 1999 article, in City Pages \"Sandy Berman\'s Last
Stand,\" Charles Brown expressed surprise at all the letters, calls
and emails he received condemning his administration\'s
treatment of Berman as: \"almost beyond my comprehension.\"

Let\'s challenge his comprehension again.

Demand that Hennepin County Library make both the Authority File and
Bibliographic Catalog database permanently available and accessible to
the public on the internet.

You can also request a copy of the databases by citing the Minnesota
Government Data Practices Act in Chapter 13 of the Minnesota Statutes.

The next
Hennepin County Library Board Meeting
is on March 20, 2002 at 4:30 pm
Central Standard Time
at the Ridgedale Library,
12650 Ridgedale Drive
in Minnetonka Minnesota.

The board meetings are open to the public.
Time is available for public comments.

If you cannot attend the board meeting in person, write, phone or email
Charles Brown and Carol Walsh to express your concerns.

It is important that we NOT BE SILENT on this issue.
Silence communicates indifference. Silence implies consent.

HCL contacts:

Charles Brown, Director
Hennepin County Library
12601 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka MN 55305
[email protected]
Carol Walsh, President
Hennepin County Library Board
4320 Highway 7, #1
St. Louis Park MN 55416
[email protected]

Hennepin County Library Board members:

Other important contacts:

Hennepin County Commissioners (the people who Charles Brown reports to)
*Sandy Berman Recommends that we contact these people

Mike Opat
Hennepin County Board of Commissioners
Hennepin County Government Center
300 South 6th Street
Minneapolis MN 55487
[email protected]

Richard P. Johnson
Deputy County Administrator
Hennepin County Government Center
300 South 6th Street
Minneapolis MN 55487
[email protected]

Maurice (Mitch) J. Freedman, MLS, PhD
ALA President-Elect; [email protected]
Director, Westchester (NY) Library System
410 Saw Mill River Road
Ardsley, NY 10502
Voice: 914-674-3600 x223; Fax: 914-674-4193

Sandy Berman
4400 Morningside Road
Edina MN 55416
[email protected]

Hennepin County Library Catalog

The Sanford Berman Website:
Copies of the HCL Press release and Berman\'s response are on the website.

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