Conversations with Catalogers in the 21st Century

By Elaine R. Sanchez | Go to book overview

4    A SYSTEMS LIBRARIAN’S CATALOGING
DAYDREAM

Jon Gorman


INTRODUCTION

There are many daydreams. Some revolve around sipping a drink with an umbrella on a sandy beach. Others center on an amazing achievement such as an Olympic victory. This essay is an exploration of a favorite daydream of mine: What if we had the chance to build a new cataloging workflow, using technologies from scanning efforts and information retrieval to assist us? Variations on this question have lead to many engaging conversations with colleagues here at the University of Illinois and with members of the Code4Lib community. For those who do not know, Code4Lib is a loosely assembled group of people involved with library technologies who gather and communicate about their shared interests in a variety of ways. These ways include, but are not limited to: an IRC chat room, e-mail lists, conferences, and even a journal. There is no formal Code4Lib organization or Code4Lib membership in a traditional sense; instead, it is just a group of interested people who share knowledge. If you want to find out more about Code4Lib a good place to start is the Code4Lib Web page, http://www.code4lib.org.

However, back to the daydream. In order to make this daydream less abstract, let us use a setting where this new cataloging process would take place. So, come along on the tour of the facility of the fictional catalog agency known as YAMCA (Yet Another Midwestern Cataloging Agency). This agency serves a wide range of libraries and consortiums.

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