Midwinter, Day Two: From the Hilltops

Posted On Jan 21 2007 by

I didn’t get around too much on day two, but the day was long, nevertheless. There were, however, a couple of observations I wanted to make.

Interfaces a la Google
It wouldn’t be an ALA Midwinter if I didn’t take a moment to register my usual skepticism of Google. I went to their tips and tricks session, which was a nice overview for people not familiar with Google Coop, custom search, and Google’s librarian-like advanced search features. More information is available at the Google Librarian Center.

But I am still struck by the lack of information forthcoming when librarians ask probing questions. What does the interface for 10 million books and articles look like? What about 500 million? That’s a lot of O’s in Gooooooogle at the bottom of the screen. I am struck that librarians accept giggles and winks when Google can’t or won’t reveal what and how much content is in Google Scholar. Would we accept that answer from ProQuest or EBSCO? One answer I firmly believe: “We have engineers working on it.” You bet they do.

Resource Description and Access
If you have not read the D-Lib article about RDA by Karen Coyle and Diane Hillman, go and read it now! Or later, but I think everyone in Libraryland should read it–and also seek out the cogent reactions that I am sure will surface from the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR and many in the technical services community. In a nutshell, there is grave concern laid out by Coyle and Hillman regarding the direction of ALA’s update to AACR2. The train has sort of left the station, but more debate and reaction are clearly needed as we develop new cataloging standards that place much more emphasis on description than they do on access. This debate will likely rage on for some time before RDA’s scheduled 2009 release.

I admit to being a little late to both these topics, so my view from the hilltop is most likely a little skewed. I also recommend that folks check out LITA’sTop Tech Trends blog in the next day or two to see a list of my trends and those of my colleagues.


[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]

Last Updated on: January 19th, 2024 at 12:22 am, by Andrew K. Pace

Written by Andrew K. Pace