4 Responses to ATG “I Wonder Wednesday”: Librarians should concentrate on improving metadata so everything can be found and linked on Google instead of in soon-to-be-obsolete library catalog/discovery systems

  1. Evan says:

    I’d say that I agree with the first part (importance of improving metadata) but not with the second part (Google is the future and library catalogs will soon become obsolete).

    I’ve got no problem with Google, and I think increased networking among catalogs (from Google, to archive.org, to Die Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, to Bibliothèque nationale de France, to…) is important. But why is Google, with its abysmal metadata, so obviously the way of the future? And why is the way of the future so obviously monocultural? Google is one among many blooming flowers. And information discovery will be the better for it.

    I think futurist assumptions about a Google takeover worry too much that complex networks of metadata and a strong diversity in library collections will have a provincializing effect on knowledge work. I think this assumption needs some push-back, because it ain’t necessarily so.

    • Ann Miller says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Of course libraries should be integrating our metadata into the wider information world. Perhaps that’s with Google, perhaps not.

      Sweeping generalizations aren’t helpful either to the efforts of those of us who provide metadata, nor to our users who can benefit by those efforts.

  2. gilsont says:

    The implications regarding Google(and Google Scholar) in this question are on target. The library’s main role is becoming the enabler of the full text journal access via their purchasing function. Producing metadata for other “specialized” digital collections may be the future for catalogers – i.e. online digital archives.
    Given Google’s (and Google Scholar’s) scope and content, I wonder if some databases may become marginalized as well. There certainly is a lot to think about and discuss.

  3. I agree with Evan in that Google may not be that actual future but we can only win by making our access points accessible through other media. This seems to be at least in the short term the smart move on the part of all services: you can’t be used if you’re not easy to be used. The reason anything become popular is because it provides something desired with minimal restrictions. The catalog is a restriction. My goal as a librarian is to get the user to the resource and I don’t really care how.

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