The Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) of the Library of Congress (LC) is pleased to announce that its flagship cataloging documentation tool, Cataloger's Desktop, is moving to the Web. Cataloger's Desktop provides access to the most widely used cataloging documentation resources in an integrated online system. Desktop is currently distributed only on CD-ROM.
Beta testing of a Web version of Cataloger's Desktop will begin on March 1, 2004. The Web version will employ nxt4, an open source, XML-based content delivery system. CDS chose nxt4 because it is one of the few standards-based software packages on the market that also supports Unicode. According to Bruce Johnson, Cataloger's Desktop Development Team Leader, "Librarians expect the Library of Congress to be in the forefront of content standards application, and the Web version of Desktop will give LC an important opportunity to demonstrate how an XML content delivery system makes it possible to provide documentation resources more specifically tailored to the needs of individual catalogers."
All catalogers are encouraged to use the beta product from March 1 to April 30, 2004. "CDS will provide the Web version of Cataloger's Desktop at no cost during the beta test," said Johnson. "We are looking forward to user feedback to help us fine-tune it before its scheduled launch as a fee-for-service product at ALA Annual in June."
"As Web-based cataloging capabilities mature," said Kathryn Mendenhall, Cataloging Distribution Service Chief, "CDS continues in the forefront of product development with the introduction of a Web version of Cataloger's Desktop. We expect to collect valuable feedback from users during the beta test," she continued, "and we encourage users to report back to us in detail about their experiences with the beta version."
Current users of Cataloger's Desktop should note that CDS will continue to produce the CD-ROM version for as long as there is significant interest. However, when the fee-for-service Web version becomes available in June 2004, subscribers will be able to transfer their subscriptions, if they like, from the CD-ROM product to the Web. Annual subscription prices will be announced as the product nears completion in late spring.