Weekly Response Post 4 – Eugene Rutigliano

Bradford Lee Eden’s concluding recommendations to technical services in the Information Technology and Libraries reading strike me as simplistic. His first two points advise that libraries become more efficient and eliminate their backlogs, good courses of action that have probably occurred to most administrators at some point. His third recommendation is to contract with vendors for cataloging services “as much as possible.” This would free up resources in the technical services department to tackle the issues of relevancy and modernization, but it remains unclear how seeking out new contracts would help libraries negotiate dwindling budgets. The fourth point is that technical services staff should be adapted to changing technologies and information needs of library users. Vigilance when facing the rapid changes to the access paradigm should be a priority, but I think the either/or dynamic Eden sets up between traditionalists and progressives in information science is counterproductive. I find it hard to believe any dedicated librarian simply refuses to see how the rise of global searching could make the collections he stewards more useful. The trouble is that learning and teaching new “interoperable” metadata standards is probably a matter of triage for many non-commercial information institutions. And while post-MARC standards have big potential, they carry their own sets of issues, WorldCat 2.0 included. Shifting towards these standards may involve losing more than just antiquated OPACs.

Also, What does it say when an advocate of adopting new standards for library interoperability considers “noncommercialization” a conservative ideal?

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