Brad, Con and Eric raise some good points arguing in favor of local
systems in libraries.

Interestingly, the functions that inarguably need local,
institutional components analogous to today's catalog are centered
around patrons and communities:

1. manage collections of local interest
2. gather usage information
3. protect user privacy
4. manage electronic rights/entitlements/access
5. enable user-generated content

The common thread here is user- and community- centric orientation of
these functions. With the exception of (1), today's catalog systems
are not well adapted to providing the functions.

I hope it will not be considered "radical" if I offer this lemma:
The next generation of library systems must be "about" communities of
users more than they are "about" collections of resources.


Eric Hellman, Director                            OCLC Openly
Informatics Division
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tel 1-973-509-7800 fax 1-734-468-6216              Bloomfield, NJ 07003      1 Click Access To Everything