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Transforming our Bibliographic Framework

This “statement” was issued by Deanna B. Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress in mid-May so not so new news but certainly something to take note of. The Library of Congress recognizes that “technological and environmental changes are … causing the library community to rethink the future of bibliographic control, including the MARC 21 communication formats.”

The profession is wrestling with many alternative views of the future and Deanna B. Marcum is leading an initiative at the Library of Congress to “analyze the present and future environment, identify the components of the framework to support our users, and plan for the evolution from our present framework to the future—not just for the Library of Congress, but for all institutions that depend on bibliographic data shared by the Library and its partners.” A very ambitious agenda in which they promise to involve community stakeholders through various discussions and meetings over the next two or three years.

Apparently a number of the participants in the RDA test group commented that despite the current budgetary issues many consider it “necessary to replace MARC 21 in order to reap the full benefit of new and emerging content standards.” Again not new news, Roy Tennant and others have been calling for the death of MARC for some time now.

One of the issues listed in this statement includes experimentation with Semantic Web and linked data technologies and it will be very interesting to see if this will become a primary focus with the profession as the bibliographic environment evolves into the future.

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