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Thursday, July 24, 2008


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I found this statement most important from my point of view:

"but need to help catalogers move from the MARC environment to the non-MARC environment"

I'm a cataloger, I want to learn more about doing non-MARC metadata, and I've read a fair amount, but haven't had the opportunity to actually use it. I have some understanding of relational databases - though I wouldn't say it's a strong understanding, and I can look at code and usually get some idea of what's going on.

It would be immensely helpful to me to be able to learn stuff like PERL scripting, and get a chance to actually use XML, rather than just read about it, but where I work, that's not likely to happen anytime soon.

Making training in actual use and practical application of metadata more available to catalogers would help me immensely - and though it may not be necessary that metadata librarians have a cataloging background, I think that having the cataloging background would be helpful.

Irvin Flack

That's a very helpful list and an interesting post. I also think a knowledge of search technologies is important: the best metadata in the world is useless without an effective way to retrieve and display it. A more basic requirement is a willingness on the part of cataloguers to embrace IT rather than seeing it as the enemy. The quickest route to irrelevance is to refuse to engage with technological change and say 'we already know best, thank you very much. None of this fancy IT stuff for us!' In the words of Dickens: "Deny it! ... Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end."


Perl? no. Ruby/Python? yes. Librarians and library staff need to get ahead of the curve, and Perl is not only yesterday's language, it's also harder to learn, more complicated, less fun and less flexible.

XML. Sure, but also YAML.

XSLT? No. Use Ruby or Python. Lots of people rightfully hate XSL/XSLT.

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    Future of Cataloging: Key Resources (to May 2008)

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