Responding to 3 different people on three different threads, so bear
Karen said, at the end of her comments about linked data and libraries:
“Other communities are giving their users a rich information experience,
but we are not. We are not helping our users understand what they've
found. You get more information about a refrigerator online that you do
about a book in a library catalog. That's what has to change to bring
users back to the library as an information source.”
Call me a pessimist, or a skeptic, but I believe that ship has sailed.
Users will NEVER come back to the libraries as their primary information
source. Libraries have been definitively displaced as suppliers and
organizers of information. The ONLY contexts in which we are seen as
such is in cases when we have something NO ONE ELSE HAS (which is rare,
as in rare books, archives, special collections). Libraries are
scrambling to add value in myriad ways (we contextualize information, we
supply “information literacy,” we curate and preserve information), but
as a SOURCE for information, sorry, game over. I'm not even convinced
that in a perfect linked open data world libraries would be competition
for other more agile, more adaptive entities.
Shlomo from Ex Libris pointed out that they have a public roadmap for
Alma to support both a MARC to BIBFRAME crosswalk and for native
cataloging in BIBFRAME.
To which I have two responses:
1) I’ll believe it when I see it in full production. Never trust a
2) I like Ex Libris. When ProQuest acquired Ex Libris, I cried. (For
example, ProQuest is primarily about content rather than discovery, and
they are VERY restrictive with “their” metadata. They wouldn’t even let
me share “their” MARC records describing US federal government documents
with HathiTrust for the purpose of data analysis. Compare Springer
Verlag's approach to metadata, which is one of open sharing: “we are
making our original MARC records available under a Creative Commons Zero
(CC0) license for free use.”)
Sebastian spoke about FOLIO.
To which I respond: I am hugely skeptical of FOLIO. A FOLIO presentation
by Harry Kaplanian and Peter Murray that I watched a couple of weeks ago
left me incredulous. Does EBSCO really believe enough institutions will
pay developers to work on an open-source library management solution
given the lukewarm adoption of Kuali OLE? Does EBSCO seriously believe
building such a thing, even using the OKAPI and lots and lots of apps-
model, is feasible?