I generally don't get into the discussion threads, but merely enjoy what is being said. However, have touched a nerve. I agree that we need to be thinking about the way libraries will look in the future. But to say that the library catalog is serving only the purposes of the people who fund them and feed on their vanity, is pretty strong and misguided. Maybe you ought to sit with a reference librarian and ask why and how the catalog and OPAC are used.

Teri Sierra, Chief
Serial and Government Publications Division
Library of Congress
202-707-6128 (fax)

>>> [log in to unmask] 06/05/06 8:50 PM >>>
I would argue that our energy would be better spent thinking about
the next generation library rather than the next generation opac.

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that the very idea of having
a catalog as an important component of a library smacks of retrograde
thinking? To my mind, in a clean-slate NG Library architecture, the
library catalog should only exist as a facade that recognizes of the
vanity of libraries and the people who fund them.

I can think of no technical justification for library catalogs as we
look forward. If not the next generation, then the next-next
generation of libraries. The functions that exist today in library
catalogs need to be pushed in two directions- toward the user on one
hand, and towards global registries on the other.

the other Eric

Eric Hellman, Director                            OCLC Openly
Informatics Division
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