The Library of Congress has released the results of its analysis of the creation and distribution of bibliographic data in U.S. and Canadian libraries.
The Library commissioned R2 Consulting LLC of Contoocook, N.H., to search and describe the current marketplace for cataloging records in the MARC format, with primary focus on the economics of current practices, including existing incentives and barriers to both contribution and availability.
Paired with the study online is a report of an internal working group indicating how recommendations from “On the Record: Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control” may be implemented at the Library. Both reports are available at www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/.
R2 summarizes its 10 findings concerning Library of Congress cataloging and how it supports bibliographic-description needs across the U.S. and Canada. The report indicates there is adequate cataloging capacity in North America, but distribution channels and cooperative use of the records have not achieved their full potential. It also describes the market for cataloging records as “conflicted,” meaning that it faces demands to be commercially solvent as well as freely accessible and open.
Associate Librarian for Library Services Deanna Marcum said, “The findings of the R2 study will be important for all libraries and administrators who are interested in the possibilities of cooperative cataloging and in making maximum use of bibliographic records created for all institutions, everywhere. I am grateful to Ruth Fischer and Rick Lugg for their thoughtful report.”
R2 Consulting LLC was founded in 2000 by partners Rick Lugg and Ruth Fischer and specializes in selection-to-access workflow analysis and organizational redesign of academic libraries. The firm also participated in the “Economics and Organization of Bibliographic Data” session of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. R2’s primary professional interest is to help library organizations improve performance and adapt to the changing information environment.