Todd, I totally agree with this (and with Leif's excellent expression  
of international concerns). What the standards organizations bring to  
the process is... a process: a process that has been developed over  
time and that has been tested. They also bring a maintenance process  
for standards that have been developed. I see these organizations as  
providing a number of services:

- a known standards process, including member review and voting
- a broad constituency
- the support of key organizations, many of whom can provide expertise

The content of the standard, of course, comes from the community.

NISO, in particular, must be lauded for making its standards openly  
available. It also has ways to fast-track standards and to manage  
incremental development.  The partnership with a standards  
organization could relieve the library community from having to  
develop a process of its own and would provide support for that aspect  
of the work. The library community could then put all of its energy  
into defining its needs and use cases, and in evaluating various  

One of the primary reasons that I favor NISO's involvement in the  
process in particular is that its membership includes the key  
technology organizations that will need to be able to implement a  
future bibliographic standard. Partnering with NISO brings that vendor  
community into the process -- at least, that would be my hope.

Other possible standards organizations (and I don't know if this is an  
either/or) would be W3C (because of the potential use of RDF, not to  
mention the recent Library Linked Data Incubator Group that they  
sponsored; ISO; and IFLA. Each would bring something different to the  


Quoting Todd <[log in to unmask]>:

> Karen,
> To be clear, it's not that NISO (and ISO) more appropriate than  
> other fora for the development of library standards. NISO and ISO  
> ARE the places--and historically have been--where library standards  
> are created, managed and promoted.   This is particularly true from  
> the perspective of existing standards that are being discussed as  
> being inadequate for their designated use.  If this is the case,  
> than those standards need to be revised.  Beyond LC's leadership  
> there doesn't appear to be a valid reason that such development  
> should take place outside of existing structures for consensus  
> development.
> And I should also note, the point of my note wasn't that NISO  
> specifically should necessarily be the forum for all of this work.  
> This is where Leif and I are in complete agreement in the note he  
> sent out to this this morning.  If we are going to revise the  
> standards for bibliographic information distribution, let's do so in  
> the existing bodies where those standards are managed, be that ISO  
> or NISO.
> LC and others will play critical roles in that development, no  
> question, but it should take place within the structure of open  
> standards development, in keeping with US Standards Strategy, which  
> proscribes public/private partnerships to develop consensus  
> standards and should govern LCs actions in standards development.
> Todd Carpenter
> Managing Director, NISO
> On Nov 2, 2011, at 3:20 PM, Karen Coyle wrote:
>> Sorry to repeat this to so many lists, but the most recent NISO newsletter:
>> makes the case that NISO may be the more appropriate body for the  
>> development of the future data format for libraries. Quoting from  
>> the message by Todd Carpenter:
>> "The MARC standards office at LC is adeptly led and they have the  
>> best of intentions, with a goal of trying to represent and serve  
>> all that use this important format. However, there is a fine line  
>> between leadership and control. Hopefully, LC is willing to lead  
>> while letting the broader community control, as messy as that  
>> process might be.
>> The process for moving MARC into today's information environment is  
>> important, as noted above. Wouldn't the process be better served by  
>> utilizing the existing and open standards development processes  
>> already in place that have served our community so well in so many  
>> areas?"
>> I had been about to post a response to the plan suggesting that  
>> there are a number of non-library standards bodies that would have  
>> a lot to contribute: in particular, W3C would be important, since  
>> LC feels that RDF (a W3C standard) should be used (and I believe  
>> that library data is a good test case for the Semantic Web  
>> standards that exist today). NISO by its nature covers a broader  
>> constituency than LC, and, most importantly, is the venue that  
>> gathers together the vendors that serve libraries and create  
>> library systems.
>> No standards process is perfect, and none are particularly rapid.  
>> Broad participation and the widest variety of use cases for the  
>> data will assure an outcome that serves the greatest number of  
>> potential users.
>> kc
>> --
>> Karen Coyle
>> [log in to unmask]
>> ph: 1-510-540-7596
>> m: 1-510-435-8234
>> skype: kcoylenet
> ==================================
> Todd A.  Carpenter
> Managing Director
> National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
> 1 North Charles Street
> Suite 1905
> Baltimore, MD 21201
> Main: (301) 654-2512
> Toll free: (866) 957-1593
> Fax: (410) 685-5278
> [log in to unmask]
> skype: tcarpenter410
> twitter: TAC_NISO
> ==================================

Karen Coyle
[log in to unmask]
ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet