Friday, February 24, 2006

LibraryThing

Some very interesting things going on at LibraryThing, the home cataloging tool. They now have MARC records for many of their titles. I didn't see a way to download them, but they might be useful for very small libraries.

But even more interesting is the use of the idea of the work to combine different titles. The idea of work they seem to be using is based on the social rather than the creator. What people think is the same, is the same. Folks have been busy combining titles into works. The weblog post and comments gives some idea of the work being done.

Seems to me this is a goldmine for cataloging researchers. Here we can see just how our users view works and titles, how they struggle over the tricky stuff, how they are moving towards a kind of folk FRBR. All this user data should be useful in informing our decisions.

And what about the thoughts of the person behind LibraryThing? Has he been invited to speak at any conferences? I'm not saying this will replace our catalogs, nor that we should toss out ISBD, FRBR, RDA, and MARC. However, this is a place to see what could improve our catalogs and provide data on our users. Something to think about.

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