Abstracts Vol. 50, No. 1


The Future of Cataloging

Deanna B. Marcum

This paper explores cataloging in the Age of Google. It considers what the technologies now being adopted mean for cataloging in the future. The author begins by exploring how digital-era students do research—they find using Google easier than using libraries. Mass digitization projects now are bringing into question the role that library cataloging has traditionally performed. The author asks readers to consider if the detailed attention librarians have been paying to descriptive cataloging can still be justified, and if cost-effective means for access should be considered.

Utilizing the FRBR Framework in Designing User-Focused Digital Content and Access Systems

Olivia M. A. Madison

This paper discusses the rapidly expanding environment of emerging electronic content and the importance of librarians to partner with new research and teaching communities in meeting users’ needs to find, identify, select, and obtain the information and resources they need. The methodology and framework of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records could serve as a useful tool in building expanded access and content systems.

Serials: Review of the Literature 2000–2003

Lauren E. Corbett

The topic of electronic journals (e-journals) dominated the serials literature from 2000 to 2003. This review is limited to the events and issues within the broad topics of cost, management, and archiving. Coverage of cost includes such initiatives as PEAK, JACC, BioMed Central, SPARC, open access, the “Big Deal,” and “going e-only.” Librarians combated the continued price increase trend for journals, fueled in part by publisher mergers, with the economies found with bundled packages and consortial subscriptions. Serials management topics include usage statistics; core title lists; staffing needs; the “A–Z list” and other services from such companies as Serials Solutions; “deep linking”; link resolvers such as SFX; development of standards or guidelines, such as COUNTER and ERMI; tracking of license terms; vendor mergers; and the demise of integrated library systems and a subscription agent’s bankruptcy. Librarians archived print volumes in storage facilities due to space shortages. Librarians and publishers struggled with electronic archiving concepts, discussing questions of who, where, and how. Projects such as LOCKSS tested potential solutions, but missing online content due to the Tasini court case and retractions posed more archiving difficulties. The serials literature captured much of the upheaval resulting from the rapid pace of changes, many linked to the advent of e-journals.

Becoming an Authority on Authority Control:
An Annotated Bibliography of Resources

Robert E. Wolverton Jr.

Authority control has long been an important part of the cataloging process. However, few studies have been conducted examining how librarians learn about it. Research conducted to date suggests that many librarians learn about authority control on the job rather than in formal classes. To offer an introduction to authority control information for librarians, an annotated bibliography is provided. It includes monographs, articles and papers, electronic discussion groups, Web sites related to professional conferences, additional Web sites related to authority control, and training offered through the Name Authority Cooperative Program and the Subject Authority Cooperative Program. A summary of possible future trends in authority control is also provided.

Evidence of Application of the DCRB Core Standard in WorldCat and RLIN

M. Winslow Lundy

The Core Standard for Rare Books, known as the DCRB Core standard, was approved by the Program for Cooperative Cataloging for use beginning in January 1999. Comparable to the core standards for other types of materials, the DCRB Core standard provides requirements for an intermediate level of bibliographic description for the cataloging of rare books. While the Core Standard for Books seems to have found a place in general cataloging practice, the DCRB Core standard appears to have met with resistance among rare book cataloging practitioners. This study investigates the extent to which such resistance exists by examining all of the DCRB Core records in the OCLC Online Union Catalog (WorldCat) and the Research Libraries Group Union Catalog (RLIN) databases that were created during the standard’s first five years. The study analyzes the content of the records for adherence to the standard and investigates the ways in which the flexibility of the standard and cataloger’s judgment augmented many records with more than the mandatory elements of description and access.

Use of General Preservation Assessments:

Karen E. K. Brown

This study describes the extent to which institutions implement preservation recommendations resulting from a general needs assessment, including the time to implementation and the extent of program development. Most recommendations are preventive, with less emphasis on repair or reformatting activities. Data indicate that the majority of institutions accomplish recommended preservation actions with no neglected subject areas. Institutions with the highest rates of success spent more staff time preparing for the site visit, and had a longer site visit, compared to the population as a whole. Preparation of a preservation plan does not correlate to an enhanced capacity to implement preservation recommendations.