By SUSAN MORRIS
Karen Calhoun recently spent the day at the Library of Congress conferring with Library Services managers and technical specialists about the implications of her paper "The Changing Nature of the Catalog" for the Library's online public access catalog and other tools for accessing the content of the Library's vast collections.
"I invited Karen to visit the Library as a consultant because we are excited about her ideas for strengthening the Library of Congress catalog as a basic tool for researchers across the country," said Director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Beacher Wiggins. "Acting on her advice, we will identify several steps that can be accomplished in the short term before turning our long-term attention to the task of fully integrating the catalog into the Web. We intend to work with the Technology Policy Directorate and other groups within and outside the Library of Congress, because transforming the catalog will require collaborations on an unprecedented scale."
Library of Congress acquisitions and bibliographic access managers were especially interested in Calhoun's recommendations for improving library users' experience when they consult the online catalog. They plan to explore her ideas and recommendations related to these issues: how the catalog interfaces with the World Wide Web; how a library can take innovative steps while reducing the costs of creating and maintaining its catalog; and how a library should manage the changes that will be necessary to accomplish the recommended transformation. They also hope to involve leaders in the library vendor industry more fully in the development of standards for catalogs.
Susan Morris is special assistant to the director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access.