Karen and all:   This is a great start to setting out goals.   Just a quick caveat about looking at costs.  I think it's important not to raise expectations that this effort will necessarily reduce costs, although it should certainly be a goal that it not raise them.   IMHO costs in cataloging come chiefly from cataloging rules and "best practices" not from the data format under the surface.  It's not at all clear that RDA will in fact reduce costs.  And the fact that RDF/ MARC will allow us to do so many more new, cool things may in fact tend to raise ambitions and costs -- just when some institutions are trying to figure out how not to do cataloging at all ;}

Also -- the prospect that system vendors or developers in the tiny library automation environment will invest a great deal in building new post-MARC systems and then charge us less for them is unrealistic.  

I'm all for starting to model and pilot this effort as soon as possible, as you suggest, but let's not oversell it as a cost reduction effort.

Stephen Paul Davis ~ Director, Libraries Digital Program
207A Butler, Columbia University Libraries, New York, NY
email: [log in to unmask] ~ ph(212)854-8584  fax(212)854-0089

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Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2011 11:11:30 -0700
From: Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Goals
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[From my blog post]

What needs to be done before we go much further is to begin to state
our specific goals and the criteria we will use to determine if we
have met those goals. Some goals we will discover in the course of
developing the new environment, so this should be considered a growing
list. I think it is important that every goal have measurements
associated with it, to the extent possible. It makes no sense to make
changes if we cannot know what those changes have achieved. Here are
some examples of the kinds of things I am thinking of in terms of
goals; these may not be the actual goals of the project, they are just
illustrations that I have invented.

- goal: it should be less expensive to create the bibliographic data
during the cataloging process
measurement: using time studies, compare cataloging in MARC and in
the new format
- goal: it should be less expensive to maintain the format
measurement: compare the total time required for a typical MARBI
proposal to the time required for the new format
- goal: it should be less expensive for vendors to make required
changes or additions
measurement: compare the number of programmer hours needed to make
a change in the MARC environment and the new environment

- goal: collaboration on data creation with a wider group of communities
measurement: count the number of non-library communities that we
are sharing data with before and after
- goal: greater participation of small libraries in shared data
measurement: count number of libraries that were sharing before
and after the change
- goal: make library data available for use by other information communities
measurement: count use of library data in non-library web
environments before and after

- goal: library technology staff should be able to implement "apps"
for their libraries faster and easier than they can today.
measurement: either number of apps created, or a time measure to
implement (this one may be hard to compare)
- goal: library systems vendors can develop new services more
quickly and more cheaply than before
measurement: number of changes made in the course of a year, or
number of staff dedicated to those changes. Another measurement would
be what libraries are charged and how many libraries make the change
within some stated time frame

As you can tell from this list, most of the measurements require
system implementation, not just the development of a new format. But
the new format cannot be an end in itself; the goal has to be the
implementation of systems and services using that format. The first
MARC format that was developed was tested in the LC workflow to see if
it met the needs of the Library. This required the creation of a
system (called the "MARC Pilot Project"[1]) and a test period of one
year. The testing that took place for RDA is probably comparable and
could serve as a model. Some of the measurements will not be available
before full implementation, such as the inclusion of more small
libraries. Continued measurement will be needed.



Karen Coyle
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ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet