Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Z39.50

The article "What OCLC and RLIN don't want you to know about the future of cataloging" by Jeffrey Beall PNLA Quarterly v. 66, no. 3 (Spring 2002) is mentioned in the OCLC in the PowerPoint presentation "Non-Member Use of Cataloging Records". He considers the impact of Z39.50, consortia, and increased standardization.

The disagreement I have with the piece is that what he describes is not the future but rather the present. For many small libraries Z39.50 is now the way they get records, macros are widely used in cataloging (as are custom templates, that are not mentioned), many library systems now ship with Z39.50 tools. It is considered so standard that the open-source system Koha includes it. Also, many libraries are already cataloging Web sites and/or including those records in their catalogs. Our catalog is small but I have about 1000 links in the catalog. A good overview of where we are now.

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