Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Catalogue 2.0: The Future of the Library Catalogue

Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Catalogue 2.0: The Future of the Library Catalogue

Article excerpt

Catalogue 2.0: The Future of the Library Catalogue. Edited by Sally Chambers. Chicago: Neal-Schuman, 2013. 212 p. $85 paperback (ISBN: 978-1-55570-943-3).

Despite its title, this book is not about "catalogue 2.0" in the traditional sense. That term usually describes the implementation of Web 2.0 concepts in the library catalogue, such as allowing patrons to share items via Facebook or Twitter, create their own keyword tags to describe resources, and post reviews of books they have read. These features are easy to add to a catalog, but as Anne Christensen points out in the first chapter of Catalogue 2.0, they are not a high priority for library patrons who are most interested in finding needed resources. Fortunately, the rest of the book examines the features users do prioritize, such as better search and ranking algorithms, mobile access to the catalogue, and improved access to digital resources. The book also describes back-end features that can provide a more streamlined experience for users, such as the use of FRBR's framework and linked data.

Catalogue 2.0 begins and ends with a broad look at the purpose of the library catalogue in the modern world. In the first chapter, "Next-Generation Catalogues: What Do Users Think?" Christensen discusses recent studies of what users want in a library catalogue. Lorcan Dempsey ends the book by presenting his view of the modern library catalogue and where it is going in "Thirteen Ways of Looking at Libraries, Discovery, and the Catalogue: Scale, Workflow, Attention." Each of the six remaining chapters examines a specific development in library catalogues, covering topics as diverse as improvements in searching and ranking algorithms, implementation and development of discovery tools in Europe, mobile library catalogues, FRBRization of the catalogue, linked data, and digital scholarship.

In the book's forward, Chambers writes, "The idea behind 'Catalogue 2.0' is to provide an overview of the current state of the art of the library catalogue and then to look to the future to see what the library catalogue might become" (xvii). The book meets that standard without exceeding it. While the volume's contributors are experts in their field, they are writing for a broader audience. As a result, they discuss concepts at a basic level, providing definitions of terms and general explanations of issues involved with a particular development without delving into much detail. …

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