Anna Murphy, Response #4

The debates, confusion, apprehension and outright fear surrounding the next era of library catalog records feels a bit, just as our previous Tennant reading, dramatic. I get that inconsistencies in cataloging are a big headache, and perhaps this is my naiveté and inexperience with being deep in these records, but after reading all this “sky is falling,” I sort of want to say “so what?”. No system for anything, least of all libraries, as been perfect. And yes with hindsight we can see how to improve, but just as how we use information now was largely unprecedented, how we will use it ten years from now is equally unfathomable. I disagree with Tennant that change can only happen with everyone on board, nowhere in history has this been true. In fact, I’m thinking of the relatively recent face-off between HD DVD and Blu-ray as to which would dominate the market as the next standard for video viewing. The industry didn’t agonize over making the perfect format. Both had to be tested by consumers and experts and ultimately the market decided what would reign supreme. Change comes with trial and error. Some libraries will make the wrong choice for the next cataloging system and will have to convert all their beta-max to VHS. No library wants to be that library, but how can we move forward without a few brave pioneers?


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