On 6/6/06, Michael Bowden <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> We need something.  My ILS has decided that their next generation
> catalog will be a portal with its own database, etc.  I already have one
> database with MARC data why do I need another to hold the non-MARC data.
>  Why isn't my ILS working to expand/create the next generation MARC
> record?  I think the next generation catalog goes hand and hand with the
> next generation of MARC.

Oh, this one is easy to answer; we need to get away from MARC. No, not
the content of MARC, nor the idea of it, nor necessarily even the MARC
format and standard itself, but we need to get away from "we need
MARC" and the idea that knowledge sharing in libraries are best done
through MARC and that Z39.50 must be part of our requirements.

For example, MARC can hold some change control info, but never to the
granulaity that supports for example an NBD which can properly update
records and work on a distributed model. But as soon as we put that
info outside of MARC, the culture will choose to ignore the problem
rather than try to change it. The *culture* of MARC is the problem.

I don't think the OPAC will go away, nor that it absolutely must, but
the very idea of an OPAC is based on knowing what our patrons want;
books that we've cataloged. But all too often we have no idea what
they want; all we've got are assumptions. I think we've come a long
way, but the time to look anew to what purpose the OPAC serves
certainly is ripe.

Ok, I'll stop now. :)


"Ultimately, all things are known because you want to believe you know."
                                                         - Frank Herbert
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