Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What Should the "Catalog" of the Future Include?

I scanned the front sides of the blue sheets so you can see how your colleagues reacted to this question. I've also pulled out some common themes in case you prefer Cliff Notes. Is anything missing from this list?

Emphasis on Local Holdings:
  • "Somewhere in-between. Emphasis needs to be on authoritative - hard to find (not easily googlable)."

  • "Only stuff we license and own because no one starts a search at the library for things that google can find faster."

  • "Catalog is good for managing physical content...the electronic "stuff" should be discoverable through general search tools that normal people use."

Librarians Should Select:
  • "No, there should be values applied."
  • "Everything in the info universe should be eligible for inclusion. Subject experts should continue to decide what to include."

  • "It should include everything we - or our faculty - think is relevant/useful for research & instruction here."

It's Really Up to the Users:
  • "What do users expect of the Libraries catalog - that should drive the answer."

  • "I hope that it will include all types of information - or somehow seamlessly integrate campus and non-campus resources. Why? I think that users would appreciate 'one-stop shopping.'"
  • "I do wonder if patrons expect the catalog to be a finding aid for library items."

Access and Findability are More Important than Scope:
  • "Only link to things that students/faculty/staff could access readily."
  • "I think that the 'concept of scope' is not as important as the ease of finding information."
  • "The question should be: from the library's single search interface, what resources in addition to the things owned or leased should the searcher be able to access. That single interface should search multiple discovery tools, of which the catalog is only one of many."

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