Yes, there are non-MARC systems out there. I think InMagic has some.
LibraryThing could be used and doesn't require MARC. There are some
home inventory programs that might do for a small church library or
But what is the problem with MARC? The structure is fairly compact,
compared to XLM for instance. It does lack some granularity I'd like to
see, but that would only make it more complex if flexible. It would also
be nice if it were possible to do more linking from the record. But this
only increases the complexity and makes it more difficult to local
catalogers. Personally, I kind of like MODS, but I'm not sure how much
it would save.
Is the problem with the rules on how to fill the MARC record? That has
mostly to do with AACR. The bibliographic universe is complex and
getting more so. The rules for description and access must take that
into account. It is true that the small public library won't need the
same detail as a special collection or research university. Maybe there
could be a simplified/stripped down AACR? Or maybe RDA, the new standard
will have that basic option?
Or is you problem with the fields, their order and associated
punctuation? That is ISBD or FRBR. Both are based on common sense and
what we experience as the necessary elements from our work. They are not
based on research on what the user wants and does. However, that gets to
the question "Who is the user?" The elementary child writing a report on
the Civil War or a grad student writing their dissertation, the mechanic
looking for a wiring diagram for a 69 Ford, or a birdwatcher planning
their trip, the person looking for do your own divorce? Maybe Google
searches could provide some answers but do people look for different
things and search differently in the library and on-line? Fertile ground
for some theses.
The other thing to consider is the huge number of records available in
MARC format. A small public library probably has very little original
cataloging to do. Local high school yearbooks, some self-published
family histories. Doing things differently locally would mean all the
common stuff would have to be done in-house, not just down loaded.
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Lunar and Planetary Institute
On Mar 14, 2012, at 8:59 AM, Matt Amory wrote:
> Is there a full-featured ILS that is not based on MARC records?
> I know we love complexity, but it seems to me that my public library
> and its library network and maybe even every public library could
> probably do without 95% of MARC Fields and encoding, streamline
> workflows and save $ if there were a simpler standard.
> Is this what an Endeca-based system is about, or do those rare birds
> also use MARC in the background?
> Forgive me if the question has been hashed and rehashed over the
> Matt Amory
> (917) 771-4157
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