OCLC has done some serious back peddling and dropped its controversial record use policy.
“After review of the recommendations, OCLC has formally withdrawn the proposed policy. A new group will soon be assembled to begin work to draft a new policy with more input and participation from the OCLC membership.”
More info available via their recent press release or the Review Board’s final report.
The Guardian has issued a correction to it’s earlier article on OCLC’s record sharing policy stating that it, “misrepresented a new record use policy being promulgated by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).”
Good article on the OCLC record sharing controversy in last week’s Guardian. ‘Why you can’t find a library book in your search engine‘ looks at bibliographic metadata in the context of today’s internet, questions OCLC’s business model and wonders about the Open Library.
Richard Wallis from Talis, an OCLC competitor in the UK, says this about OCLC:
“‘They’re still stuck in the wrong business model,’ he says. ‘It was expensive, 20 or 30 years ago, to set up a large dataset and communications, editing, storing backup tapes, and so on.’ By now, though, ‘a lot of the things that made it difficult are negligible costs’. Talis, he says, focuses on selling services, not access to data.“
Provides a nice overview of the situation and is recommended reading.
There is an online petition circulating asking that OCLC involve member libraries and others in the re-writing of the the Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records.
“For those of you who believe OCLC should not implement the policy/FAQ as written, and who perhaps have difficulty in figuring out (and letting OCLC know) exactly how they should be re-written, this petition provides a vehicle for your consideration and support.“
More information on the petition is available here.
OCLC has provided this Summary of the Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat® Records.
And you’ll find more information on the controversy over this OCLC policy change, including numerous blog posts, available at this code4lib wiki: OCLC Policy Change.
Reader’s of Autocat will be familiar with David Bade’s views on librarianship and cataloguing. He is a Senior Librarian at the University of Chicago’s Joseph Regenstein Library where he catalogues Eastern European publications.
He has a new book coming out called, ‘Responsible Librarianship: Library Policies for Unreliable Systems‘ published by Library Juice Press.
“The three papers in this volume were written in the wake of a single policy decision at the Library of Congress: the decision to cease the practice of distinguishing and collating series through the use of distinctive headings maintained in an authority file. … Looking at various policies for metadata creation and the results of those policies forces the question: is there a responsible human being behind the library web site and catalog, or have we abandoned the responsibilities of thinking and judgment in favor of procedures, algorithms and machines?”
Thomas Mann, Reference Librarian at the Library of Congress, has written the foreword which will surely whet your appetite for the essays contained in this new book.
Michael Gorman writes about RDA the “coming cataloguing debacle”. No date on the paper but I think it’s fairly recent, possibly October 2007.
“… promises to be the biggest disaster to hit descriptive cataloguing since the draft rules of 1941 …”
“It is hard to believe the world’s libraries have taken metadata seriously.”
“FRBR may have some merit as a way of looking at the theory of cataloguing—it has little as a foundational document for creating a cataloguing code.”
“This is the witches’ brew of ignorance, neophilia, and the exaltation of theory over practice that given birth to the draft Resource description and access (RDA) …”
“This is a sad time for cataloguing and the millions of users of library catalogues …”
Go and read it for yourself. Only 7 Roman numeralled pages.
The Library of Congress Professional Guild recently published a paper by LC librarian Thomas Mann entitled, “What’s going on at the Library of Congress?” The paper addresses a number of controversial decisions and statments from the Library of Congress in recent months and years.