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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

Karen Calhoun
Karen Calhoun
Director, Central Technical Services
107-D Olin Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

Redesign of Library Workflows: Experimental Models for Electronic Resource Description

About the presenter:

Karen Calhoun, M.S., M.B.A., is the Director of Central Technical Services at Cornell University Library, a position she has held since March 2000. Prior to that she was the head of cataloging. Active in the development of Cornell's Library Gateway ( and a frequent speaker on technical services in the digital library, Karen's recent research and operational interests have focused on the organization of networked resources and services, user needs, project management, library workflows, cross-functional teams, and cooperative cataloging and authority control. Currently she leads Cornell's participation in the CORC project, chairs the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Standing Committee on Automation and the ALCTS CCS Policy and Research Committee, is active in the PCC Task Group on Journals in Aggregator Databases, and serves as assistant editor of Library Collections, Acquisitions and Technical Services. In addition she has co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Internet Cataloging (forthcoming) on CORC. Before coming to Cornell she held positions at OCLC and the University of Oregon.

Full text of paper is available


This paper explores the potential for and progress of a gradual transition from a highly centralized model for cataloging to an iterative, collaborative, and broadly distributed model for electronic resource description. The author's purpose is to alert library managers to some experiments underway and to help them conceptualize new methods for defining, planning, and leading the e-resource description process under moderate to severe time and staffing constraints. To build a coherent library system for discovery and retrieval of networked resources, librarians and technologists are experimenting with team-based efforts and new workflows for metadata creation. In an emerging new service model for e-resource description, metadata can come from selectors, public service librarians, information technology staff, authors, vendors, publishers, and catalogers. Arguing that e-resource description demands a level of cross-functional collaboration and creative problem-solving that is often constrained by libraries' functional organizational structures, the author calls for reuniting functional groups into virtual teams that can integrate the e-resource description process, speed up operations, and provide better service. The paper includes an examination of the traditional division of labor for producing catalogs and bibliographies, a discussion of experiments that deploy a widely distributed e-resource description process (e.g., the use of CORC at Cornell and Brown), and an exploration of the results of a brief study of selected ARL libraries' e-resource discovery systems.

Library of Congress
December 14, 2000
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