Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Library Catalogues of the Future: A Social Space and Collaborative Tool?

an article by Laurel Tarulli and Louise F. Spiteri (affiliation(s) not provided) published in Library Trends Volume 61 Number 1 (Summer 2012)


Next-generation catalogues are providing opportunities for library professionals and users to interact, collaborate, and enhance core library functions.

Technology, innovation, and creativity are all components that are merging to create a localised, online social space that brings our physical library services and experiences into an online environment.

While patrons are comfortable creating user-generated information on commercial websites and social media websites, library professionals should be exploring alternative methods of use for these tools within the library setting.

Can the library catalogue promote remote readers’ advisory services and act as a localized “Google”?
Will patrons or library professionals be the driving force behind user-generated content within our catalogues?
How can cataloguers be sure that the integrity of their bibliographic records is protected while inviting additional data sources to display in our catalogues?

As library catalogues bring our physical library services into the online environment, catalogues also begin to encroach or “mash-up” with other areas of librarianship that have not been part of a cataloguer’s expertise. Using library catalogues beyond their traditional role as tools for discovery and access raises issues surrounding the expertise of library professionals and the benefits of collaboration between frontline and backroom staff.

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