The DDC is Killing our Libraries

The DDC is Killing our Libraries. Christopher Harris: "Instead of a 200 year old system that doesn’t make sense, we need a new system that just works. Steve Jobs, love him or hate him, makes things that work. You don’t have to learn how to use an iPad, children just pick it up and start using it because it is an almost instinctual interface. They have hidden the things that you shouldn’t have to think about and removed the minutia that require instruction. Libraries must do the same. We must make our collections accessible, with a user experience that just works. And to do that, we must rid ourselves of the Dewey Decimal System. "


2010 Year of Cataloging Research

In response to On the Record (the final report created by the LC commissioned Task Force for the Future of Bibliographic Control), the American Library Association and the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) are highlighting the need for research in bibliographic control by declaring 2010 the Year of Cataloging Research.

The Year of Cataloging Research website is now available at:

It features announcements, event information, links to relevant videos, and other information highlighting cataloging research.


Bib records as perpetual betas

Christine Schwartz pointed Nicole Engard to a post Dodie Gaudet titled Perpetual Beta & Bibliographic Records. Nicole says...

"that we as catalogers can only do so much with the information we have and the background knowledge we have. The problem here – is a wiki is open to the public or at least to all in a specific field and with bib records we save them to our system and maybe send them to a cooperative of some sort – but then that’s our record, we don’t get to benefit from the others that edit the record after us because it’s in their system – not accessible to us. "

All three posts are worth a read.

Debating Breaking Free Of OCLC: The Pros and Cons of the Largest Legacy System

One of my favorite lists to read is NGC4Lib "'next generation' library catalogs" list. I'm not much of a cataloger, nor do I even use a catalog at work, but NGC4Lib has some of the best discussions anywhere. This one is no exception, and worth a read. Set off by This Article over on LJ about the dispute over cost to use non-OCLC records for ILL. It's a great discussion on the role of OCLC, WorldCat, SkyRiver and DIY approaches to resource sharing and collaboration. Tim Spalding of LibraryThing takes a big swing at OCLC:

The real work here is done by librarians, not OCLC.... Today, when libraries are starting to realize OCLC's core service isn't worth what it was worth in 1967, OCLC is looking to permanently lock up their central position with viral contracts and, as the MSU case makes clear, monopoly pricing and flat-out bullying.

Ting: collaboratively sourced library infrastructure

Lorcan Dempsey: Ting: collaboratively sourced library infrastructure
Ting is an initiative which is creating a shared systems and data infrastructure for Danish public libraries - and potentially others. At its heart is a 'data well', an enriched aggregate of data (see a list of data sources here). Another important component is Ding, a Drupal-based content management system for presenting library resources.

A Librarian’s Dilemma: Three Articles in Consideration of DDC and its Utility in Public Libraries

by Bruce A. Sullivan

Part I: Summary

The current debate over the continued utility of the Dewey Decimal System in public libraries seems to hinge on one assertion, as articulated by Michael Casey: “Dewey, no matter how good for librarians needing to locate a book fast, is simply not suited to a popular collection intended more for browsing than research” (Casey 19). Resultantly, a number of small public libraries, notably Maricopa County Library District in Arizona, Rangeview Library District in Colorado, and Frankfort Public Library in Illinois, have adapted standards designed by booksellers (indeed, for booksellers) to their collections. These BISAC standards allegedly facilitate browsing, giving the library patron a more user-centered, as opposed to professional-centered, experience.


Christmas trees and The National Union Catalog

This LISNEWS post showing a picture of a Christmas tree made of books sparked another library to do the same thing. They used their National Union Catalog books to build a tree. You can see the results here. Another photo showing the building in progress.

With their pictures of the tree building the William H. Hannon librarians also linked to this piece: What are all those green books on Level 3? The piece talks about the National Union Catalog. (The 754 volume, 528,000 page, 13 million+ record National Union Catalog, also known as "Mansell" (after its publisher), took 14 years and $34 million to come to fruition.)

For new librarians that have known nothing but electronic catalogs this piece sheds light on important history in librarianship. The article also has this interesting line:

Although our online catalog and resources like WorldCat have mostly rendered Mansell and others like it obsolete, it can still be a useful tool for researchers needing exhaustive searches for pre-1956 works and for catalogers of rare books. In fact, a 2005 study indicated that 27% of the records in Mansell still cannot be found in WorldCat.

Content and context in concept-oriented catalogs

Did you know 2010 has been designated the year of cataloging research by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services? No? That makes 2 of us. Luckily John Mark Ockerbloom knows!

2010 has been designated the year of cataloging research by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. So it’s a good time for me to continue my series on concept-oriented catalogs. Before I talk about specific ways to implement them, I’d like to give some attention to what they look like, and the ways they interact with users.

Content and context in concept-oriented catalogs

Managing "favorites" in iBistro library catalogs

If your library has "tell me when..." options for users to receive email alerts when new items are added to the catalog, you may be interested in this instructional material- it's easy to add favorites in iBistro, but figuring out how to remove them is far less obvious....
See the instructional videos at the Delaware Library Catalog blog here


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