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"Cataloging is out-guessing the user"

Over on the FRBR blog Shawne Miksa is answering the ‘four FRBR questions‘ and I was led to Miksa’s scholarly activities page and her response to the LC Working Group from which the above quote was taken. Her response to the WG is entitled, ‘You Need My Metadata: Demonstrating the Value of Library Cataloging‘ to be published in the spring issue of the Journal of Library Metadata.

She talks about the value of cataloguing and the current perception of the cataloguing profession and draws a bit on a survey of public libraries she carried out in Texas in 2005. She is convinced that we are,

“…unwittingly sabotaging the quality of library catalogs by undermining the value of catalogers and the work they can do.”

It’s an interesting piece and gets one thinking. What exactly is the value we provide as cataloguers and how should this evolve in this brave new information world where everything is miscellaneous?

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