On Wed, 7 Apr 2004, Steven Smolian wrote:

> 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.

> I thought this was what everyone had been working toward over the years.

True. Machine readable cataloging (MARC) has been around for over 30
years. Shared bibliographic utilities like OCLC and RLIN do exactly what
you suggest. However, staff is still needed to tag those records and with
the diversity of publications, original cataloging is still needed.

I find it interesting to search OCLC and RLIN.. It continues to amaze me
how often I recordings in my own collection are not found in either of
those two files.