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Mapping the Market for MARC

Interesting news from the Library of Congress yesterday announcing a Study of Bibliographic Record Publication.

The Library has commissioned a study to research and describe the current marketplace for cataloging records in the MARC format, with primary focus on the economics of current practices, including existing incentives and barriers to both contribution and availability.

This is a follow up on one of the recommendations included in last year’s, On the Record: Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, suggesting that “cataloging activity must be shared more broadly and equitably among all libraries.

Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, will lead the investigation, and had this to say about this new initiative:

I am very optimistic that the project will shed new light on the current cataloging supply and distribution environment … in such a way that future opportunities and challenges can be promptly identified and evaluated. I am hopeful that librarians and all other participants in the distribution chain will be as forthcoming as possible during the investigative process. Our intention is to understand as fully as possible both the economic and workflow implications for the U.S. and Canadian marketplace prior to implementing any changes at the Library.

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