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  

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  


Karen Coyle
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