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Re-inventing wheels December 13, 2006

Posted by Mia in Uncategorized.

There is sometimes an unfortunate lack of informed debate and discussion concerning the current principles and standards by which we create cataloguing metadata. Some examples:

1. an item record is not synonymous with MARC Format for Holdings MFHD.
2. MARC amply provides for local fields. The definition of “local” is that these fields are pertinent to a specific institution, and are out-of-scope for the commonly shared description. They are not intended to be shared. They may be transmitted along with the rest of the record, but their presence is clearly flagged so that other institutions can ignore.

One of the problem with coming up with wish-lists for ngc’s is that tomorrow there will be new needs that we cannot envision today. Not that long ago, nobody was agitating for recommender systems, or systems that show other patron’s reviews of things.

I personally am not at all interested in reading some other patron’s review about this or that work; and I certainly don’t care how some anonymous person ‘rates’ something or not. I’m not opposed to it. It’s just not something I care about when it comes to using a library or searching scholarly information. Buying a coffee maker? A qualified ‘Maybe’.

Perhaps searching for people by shoe size will be the next great thing. The last time I looked, we weren’t adding metadata for that.

The point is that we should understand our specific domain; and articulate the principles and ground rules for encapsulating the data within that domain.