Presentation: Collaboration, Not Competition

ALA Midwinter 2007, ALCTS Future of Cataloging presentation: Collaboration, Not Competition. (slides: QuickTime & PDF.)

Stir my writings on The Google Economy and Arrival of the Stupendous post with frame four of the ALCTS And The Future Of Bibliographic Control: Challenges, Actions, And Values document:

In the realm of advanced digital applications, we are interested in collaboration, not competition.

We take as axiomatic the idea that library catalogs and bibliographic databases on the one hand, and Web search engines on the other, have complementary strengths. No matter what their respective popularity may be among the general population, neither of these broad categories of tools can compete with the other, on the other’s own ground. Realizing this, we maintain that “future catalogs” discussions based on the idea of “competition between the catalog and search engines” have become passé, leading to redundant sets of questions and answers. Such discussions lead to foregone, dead-end conclusions which tend to ignore points 1-3 above. The interesting questions about “the future of the catalog” now have to do with collaboration, not competition. Collaborations with librarians and nonlibrarians who operate social networking sites, implement “Web 2.0” or “Library 2.0” services, and pursue creative mashups of the most heterogeneous types of metadata, will invigorate both our practice and theory, as well as strengthen our relationships with our user groups. These collaborations will also be fueled by our expertise in metadata creation, of the traditional library type as well as in newer forms. Because recent and future data mining products, such as Endeca, will continue to require sources of rich metadata, the value of bibliographic metadata itself is likely to increase.