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Jeff,

I think you prove a good point here -- but probably not the one you think.

Digital libraries are struggling because of lack of resources, funds,
economic incentives etc., not because of complex technologies.

If there would be billions of dollars to make from integrated library
data, bibliographic RDF and Linked Data (using BIBFRAME or some other
vocabulary) would already be happening for some time.

Take a look at EBI-RDF for example, which is a joint effort by
multiple life-science companies hosting billions of triples:
https://www.ebi.ac.uk/rdf/
I have made no analysis, but I dare to say that library catalogs is an
easy domain to model compared to life-sciences.

Bottom-line: apart from possibly flawed ontology design, there are no
technical obstacles for the success of BIBFRAME, only economic and
political ones.

On Sat, Feb 4, 2017 at 10:52 PM, Jeff Edmunds <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi Maurine,
>
> Thanks for your post. The evidence I have to support that assertion is my
> own experience (27+ years at a large academic research library) and
> anecdotal evidence from colleagues (mostly here and at peer
> institutions--large university libraries).
>
> When I began here in 1989 the Cataloging department had ~50 faculty and
> staff. Today we're down to ~30. What's more, many of those 30 (myself
> included) no longer actively catalog--as academic libraries have been spread
> ever thinner by new initiatives, many folks in all departments have been
> called upon to do other things (Web work, or managing e-resources, to cite
> but two examples).
>
> Declining collections budgets have convinced some administrators that fewer
> catalogers are needed. We've lost positions to assessment and other newer
> areas as libraries struggle to redefine themselves when the go-to source for
> information remains Google and Wikipedia. We'll be losing two positions this
> year--one a senior cataloger with an international reputation--and we'll
> only be able to rehire one. The unfillable position is an original cataloger
> who catalogs materials for our Engineering and Mathematical and Physical
> Sciences Libraries--both of which support huge colleges at our university.
>
> In the next 18 months, as a result of a voluntary retirement incentive
> program, my library will be hiring almost 3 dozen positions (student
> engagement, open education, etc.); only one will be coming to Cataloging.
>
> Ironically, in the Internet age, libraries have more, not fewer, collections
> to manage. The need for quality metadata has never been greater. Which
> brings me back to my original point: one reason RDA and BIBFRAME will not
> enjoy the success or widespread adoption that AACR2 and MARC did is simply
> because they are unwieldy.
>
> Jeff
> P.S. I have a close friend who has two children currently attending Hillsdale.
>
>>This has been a highly informative thread for those of us not terribly
> well-versed in the BIBFRAME specifics as they currently stand.  Thanks for
> getting it started, Jeff!  I was hoping to see one point of clarification to
> your initial post, though, that I haven’t seen yet. Could you cite some of
> the evidence that supports your statement that “The most likely allies of
> LC in moving BIBFRAME forward--large academic or public libraries with
> experienced cataloging staff--are shifting resources AWAY from cataloging
> and into other areas (digital humanities, assessment, student engagement,
> open access, etc.).†? I would not be surprised if that is the case, but
> I’m not sure I’ve seen anything proving it.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Maurine McCourry, Ph.D.
> Technical Services Librarian
> Hillsdale College, Mossey Library
> [log in to unmask]