3 thoughts on “QOTD: the bibliographic archipelago”

  1. I agree. I see no reason why my patrons’ search for information on, say, Stalin should be separated into individual searches of the catalog and the databases. Just aggregate everything and let them choose what they want. Information has reached a point where people see little or no difference between

  2. Re: I sometimes puzzle over the emphasis on next generation catalogs. Of course, it is easy to understand, given the local control. But it is only one island, an important one, but one destination among several. What about all the other databases?

    I too agree with the general point here, but I wonder if the reference to a “catalog” isn’t just a matter of legacy terminology? What we’re really looking at in the next generation seems more like a general purpose metadata repository and index, able to ingest or otherwise include all those “other databases”, at least in principle. The advantages of such a database, however it’s technically implemented, has more to do with speed, flexibility, and richness of service than with local control in the narrow sense. And while this might, for a time, continue to be referred to as the library’s “catalog”, the classic MARC-based database would be only one component of it.

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