June 2007 Archives

Technology Trends

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I was at the ALA Annual Conference in DC last weekend, and among the presentations I attended I found LITA’s Top Technology Trends particularly lively and informative. Three themes stood out for me:
1.)    The consolidation of ILS vendors has lead to unplanned migrations from one service to another. This has proven quite disruptive and has lead to increased distrust of vendors. As a result, libraries are becoming interested in open source alternatives for ILS. In general, there is intense uncertainty in the marketplace for systems and services.
2.)    End users have become content creators in, for example, Flickr and YouTube, but there is no guarantee of preservation. Material of potential value to researchers like the emails from service people in Iraq is in danger of being lost. The Picture Australia project is responding to challenge of preserving that country’s cultural heritage by taking images that people upload to their Flickr pool and tagging them to make them findable.
3.)    Technologies are just tools. It’s the outcome that matters. We need to be constantly considering what’s happening with people and how to serve them and not be afraid that they won’t love us if we give them what they want. Patrons are focused on problem-solving, and we can them by going beyond doing the same old things. We can make searching easier by combining taxonomies and folksonomies. We can make both our libraries and our websites sites for contact and collaboration. Both librarians and patrons need to be involved in developing technology to satisfy the need for information.


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If you want to get up-to-date on technology and information systems in the library, take a look at LITA BLOG, the official blog of the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of ALA. While some of its posts focus on Internal LITA business, many cover the latest trends and issues. 
Currently, there are several reports on sessions at the ALA Annual Conference including a panel on privacy issues, a discussion of libraries as digital publishers, and a lively debate on innovation in the library. Some of the bloggers can be chatty at times, but I found useful information in all the posts I read.

I came across a helpful cataloging tool referenced in a recent Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG) Newsletter.  It is a set of guidelines developed by the Library of Congress, for internal use by their catalogers, to assist with descriptive cataloging of recent and emerging sound recording formats. 

The PDF file is not dated (that I could find), so  I don't know exactly how current it is, but if you have struggled with how to catalog dual discs (standard audio on one side and DVD on the other), mini CDs, shaped discs, super audio CDs, MP3 files or other formats, this might prove an essential reference tool.

Leave a comment if you have other treasured sources or tools that you'd like others to know about!

Description of WorldCat Local

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Once again I find myself recommending something written by Marshall Breeding in ALA's Smart Libraries Newsletter...  In this article in the June 2007 issue, he does a great job of explaining WorldCat Local, OCLC's effort at improving the catalog search experience for local users.  In April, a beta version of WorldCat Local installed at the University of Washington Libraries was made public.

We've been hearing a lot lately about WorldCat Local and Ex Libris' Primo product (e.g. the Regional ExLibris User Group meeting), but here's a chance to actually try it out.

Read the article, then go play around in the UW implementation

Let us know what you think or what questions it raises for you.

OCLC Bib Formats and Standards Update

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OCLC is updating all of the chapters in the online Bibliographic Formats and Standards.

Our own Virginia Dudley from the BATS unit is helping to edit some of the content!
Chapters 1-5 have been updated, along with the following fields: 2XX, 3XX, 4XX, 9XX.
When the online version is complete, OCLC will offer print copies for $40.00, to be
printed sometime in late 2007.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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