Friday, January 28, 2005

Project Gutenberg and MARC Records

You Can Be Part of the Selection Process. Project Gutenberg would like your library to join our MARC record testing program

You and your library can choose the eBooks in this testing program, and can make sure eBook MARC records for these eBooks meet your staff requirements for MARC records.

Please read on for the details.

I have been giving CDs and DVDs to librarians and library directors for some years now, and I have yet to see one of them placed for use.

On the other hand, I receive emails from some librarians, and meet others, who tell me they have acquired Project Gutenberg eBooks and CD or DVD releases and put them on the shelves--on their own--without any prompting.

Sometimes this reminds me of my efforts to do something to get modern eBooks into a Project Gutenberg release, and then it turns out that those authors I approach are unwilling, but I also find that there are those who come to us on their own, asking us to include them.

Therefore, I would like to do one feasibility study to start with, perhaps in several parts to optimize the study to determine how much a set of MARC records would improve circulation of Project Gutenberg eBooks.

To that end, I would like to recruit some 100 librarians and patrons who will be willing to take some pre-arranged collection of eBooks and MARC records to accompany them to libraries.

Then perhaps we can see how many libraries in general we might be able to expect to include Project Gutenberg eBooks if we included these MARC records with them. We might also ask to hear how many of these who did include eBooks in their collections would have done so if an inclusion of MARC records were not available.

This study's plan is to create collections of eBooks of sizes of perhaps from several dozen to several hundred to perhaps even thousands, for the three parts of this study, before the choice is made to create MARC records for all of the Project Gutenberg eBooks in prescribed formats suggested by the study's outcome.

If you are willing to take one of our sets of eBooks to your local libraries, schools, etc. please let me know.


Michael S. Hart
Project Gutenberg
Executive Coordinator

Posted with permission.

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