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BIBFRAME  February 2017

BIBFRAME February 2017

Subject:

Re: Failure

From:

Jeff Edmunds <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 6 Feb 2017 10:32:14 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (80 lines)

Karen,

You make several excellent points, and I’m willing to concede that 
comparing cataloging ca. 1989 to cataloging ca. 2017 is apples to 
oranges and that efficiencies gained through technological advances may 
indeed have offset or at least mitigated loss of staff.

[Please don’t get me started on ARL statistics, which are an absurdity, 
especially when it comes to collections. “Ours is bigger than yours, 
which means we’re better!” We live in the age of quantum collections: 1) 
there are no clear boundaries between library X’s collection and library 
Y’s and 2) individual parts of collections and even entire collections 
themselves are continuously and unpredictably popping into and out of 
existence. Every year I am asked by admin “How many e-books do we have?” 
Ridiculous. “None: I checked the shelves and couldn’t find any.”]

Your final paragraph is what intrigues me most. How, in fact, would 
widespread adoption by libraries of BIBFRAME (or whatever it evolves 
into) affect user experience? Would they find more resources? Would they 
find them more quickly? Would resources discovered be better 
contextualized, such that information literacy would be in some sense 
built into search results? I doubt it.
 
But what is certain is that no one knows. As you point out, library 
metrics are deplorable, especially when it comes to important measures 
like what constitutes "quality" and how good metadata (or the lack 
thereof) impacts student learning and retention.

Thanks,

Jeff



On Sun, 5 Feb 2017 09:28:51 -0800, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Jeff,
>
>ARL gathers statistics from research and college libraries.[1] I no
>longer have access to them (they're pay-walled), but it would be worth
>looking at them if you do. Personal and anecdotal "evidence" is a 
start,
>but I agree with Maurine that "[citation needed]".
>
>I've done statistical studies for public libraries, since I had access
>to data isn't behind a firewall, and there are interesting trends with
>the balance between staff and technology if you have a good time-span 
of
>data. It also can be shown that with technology, libraries are "doing
>more with less", with "less" being humans. You can look not only at the
># of staff, but of output. This is obviously not a situation that is
>unique to libraries - it's true in every industry. I was able to do
>cost/return analyses pretty easily, albeit at a high level.
>
>In terms of the work done, it would be hard to compare 1989 to today 
due
>to major changes in the workflow - the greater availability of copy for
>cataloging (both with the increase in WorldCat and vendor-provided 
data)
>is a start. Better integration of local systems and sources of
>cataloging also makes a difference. I imagine that cataloging modules
>today create efficiencies that didn't exist in 1989. Did your library
>still have a card catalog? Many did, because they hadn't finished
>retrospective conversion. The turn-around with cards probably slowed
>things down considerably.
>
>What would be harder to show is how this affects quality and the user
>experience. However, a quick EBSCO search shows that some folks in our
>profession have addressed this, so there might be some good hints 
there.
>Hopefully some of those address the loss of "MLS" staff and increase of
>"para-professionals", and whether or not that affects quality. (I'm not
>terribly hopeful that anyone has really good data on that, though. For
>an information profession we have too little information about our
>profession.)
>
>kc
>[1] http://publications.arl.org/ARL_Statistics
>

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