Recordings available from ALA session on economics of bibliographic records
As an update on this post, we have made available recordings of the ALA session on the sustainability and economics of the collaborative national bibliographic framework. The recordings are linked from this page:http://www.oclc.org/us/en/multimedia/2010/alamw_techservices.htm
A short intro by Karen Calhoun highlights the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control report as an impetus for a new look at the role of cooperatives and national libraries in the descriptive environment.
Alisdair Ball's presentation provides useful information on the scale and profit/non-profit service mix of the British library. The description of the overall national framework provides a useful contrast to the US model, while retaining crucial environmental similarities. Ball also points out the SCONUL Shared Services Survey [Summary here: http://sconulss.blogspot.com/2009/06/shared-services-survey-headlines.html], which may be unfamiliar to some, which surveys the appetite among UK libraries for shared services.
Ruth Fischer of R2 Consulting provided an overview of the report they prepared on behalf of LC on the MARC record marketplace [Original report, our commentary]. While stressing the limited scope of R2's assignment from LC, she highlights the report's most important points: the high cataloging capacity that remains underused due to insufficient incentives, the distorting market effect of LC's record supply subsidy, and the disjunction between community and commercial values in the information market.
Brian Schottlaender of UC San Diego begins with a useful set of references to seminal reports and studies in the area. He asserts that environmental conditions have moved to a point where changes in cataloging practice are desirable and feasible. His presentation describes the steps that UC libraries have taken to determine the best and most efficient ways to take collaborative cataloging to a new level.
In the question and answer session, an attendee from Lyrasis offers personal anecdotes about the difficulties in shifting cataloging priorities. Jay Schaefer of University of Massachusetts Amherst, reacting to Schottlaender, discusses frankly the difficulties in large organizations with multiple employee classifications, leading to a valuable discussion of training. Diane Hillmann of Information Institute of Syracuse and Metadata Management Associates asks about the interplay between the trend toward making government information more open and possible moves toward cost-recovery for its production. Bob Wolven of Columbia University points out some areas in which catchphrases are emerging, leading to a discussion about unpacking the concept of "uniquely adding value." Kevin Randall cautions that the difference between "metadata work" and "cataloging" is overplayed, and separating the two is a false dichotomy. Robin Wendler of Harvard brings up points relating to the distribution and re-distribution of MARC records and the cost and restrictions engendered.