this topic (maintaining local LC resource files) comes up over and
over again. as sherman pointed out, there is some benefit to
rely on locis/mums (which is free searching and which provides
certain very nice search strategies and even nicer displays).
several naco-music project participants regularly utilize that
source. <i fully expect all of those nice features to disappear
with the new client-server LC lms! ;>>
all that aside, it seems to me that the main question is cost.
whether you want to consider this cost or not, all of us using
any of the utilities (oclc, rln, wln) are already paying those
utilities one way or the other to maintain resource files for us.
that is, the utilities incur some kind of cost to maintain those
resources and those costs are somehow recovered from the
users of the utilities (directly or indirectly).
on the face of it, it seems to me cost efficient for us users
to share that cost via the utilities. i could be wrong because
i have not analyzed these costs.
even without serious analysis, it seems to me that any
individual library has to decide whether it is worth it's
local costs for duplicating the resource file(s) locally.
those kinds of calculations can be estimated for the short
term: local computer/personnel costs for administering
and storing the local copy of the resource file, variation
in use of the file locally as opposed to via the utility, etc.
those are short terms estimates. longer terms effects have
to due with the costs charged by the utilities. isn't it
evident that if we cease sharing in the cost of maintaining
resource files (by maintaining them individually) that the
costs at the utility will increase per user? maybe that's not
evident. i suspect that oclc is going to be in the business
of maintaining it's local resource files no matter what i
do. and i also expect that oclc will figure out a way to
recover that cost by altering its pricing structures in such
a way as to make sure that i contribute to that cost. the
net effect is that i wind up paying some portion of oclc's
costs for maintaining the resource file as well as the entire
portion of my own institutions costs for maintaining that same
file. these costs can be considered relative to the savings
(telecommunications mostly and some staff time) earned by
relying on the local resource file.
placed in a national context, is it really cost beneficial
to have all libraries maintain local resource files as
opposed to relying on the utility to do that for the rest
of us? that question is real (not rhetorical). i don't know
but i would hope that someone will figure that out.
i have some hunches, based on how i work as a cataloger.
but i am perfectly willing to give up my hunches when it
comes to what computers can and will do.
A. Ralph Papakhian, Indiana University Music Library
Bloomington, IN 47405 812/855-2970 [log in to unmask]
co-owner: [log in to unmask]