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Tom,  

A few response to your comments.

First of all, this project is absolutely not a replacement for, not is it intended to "take over" from the work that the Library of Congress is engaged in.  In fact, the two projects are envisioned as complimentary, providing broad input and a forum for consensus on international community requirements and concerns.  That said, the foundational standards that underpin MARC (Z39.2 and ISO 2709) as well as some bibliographic exchange standards are community consensus standards developed by NISO and ISO respectively.  They are not solely the responsibility of LC to manage, maintain or sunset, although they do play an important role in that process.  

LC is to be praised for the work and time it is investing in the Bibliographic Futures Initiative, as well as the expertise they bring on this topic. It is the goal of this project to help bring together the various approaches and methods for sharing bibliographic information. The ultimate vision is that the various threads will all converge at some point in the future in a way that serves the needs of all types of libraries, as well as the diverse community outside of the library community who want to or could take advantage of bibliographic data.

The webinar in question you mention was organized by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, as part of a joint webinar series that NISO and DCMI are engaged in. DCMI is responsible for the structure and content of that event, not NISO.  The DCMI events were planned long before this grant was approved by the Mellon Foundation and before DCMI knew of the event.  NISO provides a mix of paid and free educational events for the community, which provide information and context around a variety of information exchange efforts.  In addition, NISO has been a leader among standards development organization in providing free access to all of the specifications and best practices that we develop, which is in marked contrast to the majority of other SDOs in our community.

Finally, NISO does not require membership to participate in any NISO activity.  Participation is open to all who are interested and willing to contribute, although preference is given to members, if all other things are equal.  NISO wants to engage the best, brightest and most engaged on every project, whether they be members or not.  Voting members do have ultimate say, however, on the final shape of NISO standards.  On most projects over the past 6 years, about 40-50% of members of NISO working groups have come from non-member organizations.

The cartoon you reference (used in a variety of my presentations, BTW), is exactly the desired outcome that we are hoping to avoid.  It is also exactly why we are not trying to develop a specification, tool or software at this stage.  If there is someone who knows exactly what that system should look like and how it would efficiently address all of the diverse community's concerns, I expect that LC and a variety of systems vendors would already be well on their way to building it. 

Sincerely,

Todd Carpenter

On Jan 15, 2013, at 11:36 AM, Tom Morris <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 7:36 AM, Todd Carpenter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Good afternoon, Bibliographic Exchange community,
>> 
>> Last fall, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation generously awarded the National
>> Information Standards Organization (NISO) with a grant to support an
>> initiative that will develop a community roadmap toward a new bibliographic
>> exchange environment.  This roadmap will help support movement toward a
>> future of bibliographic information exchange ecosystem.
> 
> So NISO is taking over coordination of bibliographic information
> standards from the Library of Congress?  Has the LC agreed to cede the
> field?
> 
> For all of its lack of transparency and other problems, at least the
> LC isn't a "pay to play" organization like NISO.  The Mellon
> Foundation could have subsidized the recent outrageously expensive
> BIBFRAME webinar instead.  That probably would have done more to
> advance the cause in the immediate term than an 18 month study
> resulting in a report and no software, standards, or any other work
> product.
> 
> Adding an additional group to the fray as a way to improve
> coordination reminds me of this strip: http://xkcd.com/927/
> 
> Tom
> 
> p.s. How much was the grant for?  I'm curious what the going rate for
> a meeting, 4 teleconferences, and a final report is these days.