Friday, April 02, 2010

A Dim View of MARC

OCLC's RLG group completed a study on MARC cataloging titled: Implications of MARC Tag Usage on Library Metadata Practices. Here are their conclusions:
MARC’s Future?
Libraries rely on MARC data for library inventory control, but users do their discovery elsewhere.5
• MARC is a niche data communication format approaching the end of its life cycle. Delivery of the inventory from the library will likely be mitigated by the availability of digitized works, especially for those in the public domain. The RLG PartnersHIP MARC Tag Usage Working Group’s view on MARC’s future:
• Future systems, if they are to be able to meet users’ needs in the ways documented in the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records6
• Future encoding schemas will need to have a robust MARC crosswalk to ingest the millions of legacy records we now have. and to take advantage of linked data as envisioned by the new Resource Description and Access standard, will need a more relational approach to data storage. MARC is not the solution.
• Ask ourselves: How would we create, capture, structure, store, search, retrieve, and display objects and metadata if we didn’t have to use MARC and if we weren’t limited by MARC-centric library systems?
• Consider how best to take advantage of linked data and avoid creating the same redundant metadata in individual records. Consider sources outside the traditional library environment.
• Rather than enhancing MARC and MARC-based systems, let’s give priority to interoperability with other encoding schemas and systems. We need to meet the demands that have arisen from the rest of the information universe.

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