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Bicentennial Conference  on 
	Bibliographic Control for the New Millenium: Confronting the Challenges of Networked 
	Resources and the Web
sponsored by the Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate

Matthew Beacom
Matthew Beacom
Catalog Librarian for Network Information Resources
Sterling Memorial library
Yale University
130 Wall St.
New Haven, CT 06520

Crossing a Digital Divide: AACR2 and Unaddressed Problems of Networked Resources

About the presenter: Matthew Beacom has been a cataloger and a librarian for 10 years. He catalogs networked information resources for Yale University Library. Prior to his current position, Beacom cataloged books for the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale. He has been a member of ALCTS CC:DA (1996-2000) and a member of the PCC Standing Committee on Automation (1999-2001) and was once chair of the LITA/ALCTS Interest Group on Technical Sevices Workstations (1998). Beacom is currently a member of the ALTS CCS executive committee (2000-2002). Among the specific tasks he has worked on for professional committees are the ALCTS CC:DA Task Force on Harmonization of ISBD(ER) and AACR2 [1998-99] and the PCC SCA Task Group on Journals in Aggregator Databases.

Full text of paper is available


The advent of the World Wide Web has initiated profound changes in how we use information. For librarians and those whom we serve, the most important changes may be in how new knowledge is created, how it is packaged, how it is published or disseminated, how its use is controlled, how it can be found, used, and saved for later use. In response to the Web and the cultural changes associated with it, librarians are thinking anew about how we enable people to have access to sources of information and knowledge. We are radically re-examining cataloging and catalogs.

In this paper, I address four problems or rather four changes in how we use knowledge that the library community must respond to. I address each change from the perspective of one who asks what the relation is between this change and AACR2, between this change and how libraries and librarians enable others to gain access to sources of information and knowledge. The four changes are:

  1. The change in how knowledge is packaged,
  2. The change in how knowledge is published and disseminated,
  3. The change in how access to knowledge is controlled, and
  4. The change in how we help others use knowledge as it is coming to be packaged, published, and restricted as networked resources.

Changes to how knowledge is packaged as a networked resource encounter AACR2 most immediately in rule 0.24. These changes profoundly affect how we understand and resolve the relation between content and carrier and greatly multiply the scale of the multiple versions problem.

Changes to how packages of knowledge are published and disseminated encounter AACR2 most obviously in the publication area, but their impact is not limited to this area. Networked resources are packaged in new ways. E-journal aggregations are one. After 400 years, will journals continue to be the dominant delivery mechanism for articles? Networked resources have new qualities. They are egregiously updateable. For networked resources, updateable publications may become the dominant pattern.

Changes to how access to packages of knowledge is controlled encounter AACR2 in the note area. With networked resources, access restrictions are commonplace. With networked resources, the mix of universal and local information in bibliographic records is shifted toward local information. URLs for licensed materials demonstrate the importance of this shift.

Changes to how we help others use packages of knowledge encounter AACR2 in its heart of hearts, in the role of the catalog record and the catalog itself as intermediaries between the resource and the user, the book and its reader. In a networked environment, the distance--space and time--between the catalog record and the resource is annihilated. A catalog on the Web is a portal to the Web.

IFLA's Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records defines four user needs: to find, to identify, to select, and to obtain. To these four we must add a fifth for networked resources: to use. For networked resources, the catalog must deliver the resource to the user in ways that enable the user to make use of it to teach, do research, publish, etc. A catalog on the Web ideally delivers networked resources to the user's virtual workspace, a set of tools that enables the user to manipulate the resource--text, images, sounds, or data-- and put it to their own uses.

Glenn Patton
Glenn Patton, commentator
OCLC, Inc.
6565 Frantz Rd.
Dublin, OH 43017-3395

About the commentator:

Glenn Patton is Manager of Cataloging Products Department in the Product Management and Implementation Division at OCLC. He has spent nearly 20 years doing support, training and product development activities for OCLC Cataloging services and products, including a major role in the redesign and implementation of the OCLC Cataloging Service. He and his staff are responsible for the implementation of online and offline cataloging-related products and services and for quality control activities related to WorldCat.

He serves as OCLC's liaison to the ALA ALCTS Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access, to Online Audiovisual Catalogers and to the OCLC CJK Users Group. He is a member of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging's Standing Committee on Training and the IFLA Standing Committee on Cataloging. He has also served as a member of the MARBI Committee.

Prior to coming to OCLC in 1980, he spent 11 years as Music and Fine Arts Librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois. He holds B.Mus. and M.A. degrees from the University of Kansas and an M.S.L.S from Columbia University.

Full text of commentary is available

Library of Congress
May 9, 2000
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