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December 2010

When it comes to creating a library automation infrastructure in 2010, there are many models in play. Should libraries continue to rely on integrated library systems installed locally in libraries or consortia? Will some shift to relying on a globally distributed infrastructure through OCLC’s Web-scale Management Services? Might some libraries rely on vendor-hosted arrangements through software-as-a-service?

The same kinds of questions arise in the way that libraries deal with the bibliographic records that describe their collections. The longstanding copy cataloging model involves libraries relying on external bibliographic sources for items that have previously been described, bringing copies of records into their local system. Only when no acceptable copy of the record can be identified will a library perform original cataloging, creating a new record from scratch. OCLC member libraries can rely on the massive World-Cat database of bibliographic records to achieve a very high ratio of copy cataloging relative to original cataloging. Outside the OCLC fold, libraries depend on other bibliographic resources such as the catalogs of their national libraries, or a more peer-to-peer model of deriving records, often based on informal terms, from other libraries that happen to have servers supporting the Z39.50 protocol. In this month’s newsletter, we discuss BookWhere, a software tool that helps many libraries to obtain the records they need to describe their collections.

--Marshall Breeding

Also in this Issue:

  • Making Sense of Many Options
  • PeopleWhere: A New Tool for Managing Library Personnel and Scheduling
  • BookWhere: Flagship Product for WebClarity
  • SirsiDynix Portfolio: A New Digital Asset Management Platform
  • ILS Tangents in Georgia

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