Actually, the presence of fewer catalogers may be seen as a good thing,
perhaps indicating that it is no longer considered imperative that each
library generate all its own cataloging with its accompanying administrative
empire but rather obtain it from a central service, reducing costs
substantially. This may be leading to everyone cataloging the same way with
minor additions to the record regarding location and other administrative
variants, and thus allow searches to disclose multiple copies countrywide
I thought this was what everyone had been working toward over the years.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2004 8:40 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Net music piracy 'does not harm record sales'
> On Tue, 6 Apr 2004, Mike Richter wrote:
> > 2. Librarians have many functions. Some of them are no doubt decreasing,
> > but others such as cataloguing are increasing. As the mass of
> > grows, the need for effective indexing and cross-indexing grows - and
> > operations are required whether the data are in physical or digital
> Reflecting on the situation at our University, this year will be the first
> time in ten years a vacancy in our cataloging department will be filled.
> I wonder what you information you have to indicate an increase in the
> amount of material being cataloged. I wonder if OCLC and/or RLIN have
> statistics on this.
> I can only speculate that perhaps some of the decline in the cataloging
> staff here at our institution is a reflection of the decline in
> acquisitions. With 18 years as a bibliographer (1983-2001), I watched the
> purchasing power (cost of item versus budget) of my allocation decline
> about 70%. Some of those years were the "boom" years in the record
> industry. As many will recall, the advent of the CD brought a substantial
> increase in the number of new issues coupled with a substantive increase
> in the per item cost.
> As for cataloging digital information...I am not quite sure I
> understand what you mean.
> Some years ago we had a project to add WEB sites to our online catalog.
> Needless to say, we all know the transitory nature of such things. As I
> recall an automated system would regularly check on availability of those
> web sites, however, I don't know if it really checked up on the content of
> These days, it would seem like a waste of time for a library to catalog
> WEB sites since google et al do it better.
> Thinking about libraries...
> I am reminded of something Leonard Bernstein wrote in an article in the
> New York Times. The title of the article was "The Symphony is Dead," a
> paraphrase of a notion being promulgated at the time, "God is Dead." He
> suggested that Symphony orchestras were rapidly becoming museums. Perhaps
> it depends on how one defines libraries, but it would seem that could be
> said about them as well.
> Sorry for rambling, but I guess I am just trying to get a sense of some
> of more general issues that effect what those of us in preservation do.
> Hopefully my note will inspire some of you on the list to share your