Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This man is GENIUS

For my organization of knowledge class i had to watch a video of a conference where the speakers name was Roy Tennant. The video is called Life Beyond MARC: The case for Revolutionary Change in Library Systems. My boyfriend is laughing at me currently because I was soo enthralled with this. At first i was like oh my lord this video is 65 minutes long and its 10:15 pm and its been a long day. I was glued to the computer screen and if you watch the video and you are a library geek officially like I am, you will understand why.

Roy Tennant is quoted as a pioneer  in regards to digital library development and internet training. To basically state what the video was about, its changing the future of metadata when it comes to cataloging. When I am at work, a good majority of the time students ask questions for particular items in the form of how you would look for something on google. We know, it doesn't necessarily work this way in a library catalog. We need key words like the title, author and so on and so forth. I myself am finding it difficult still doing subject searches because I feel I may not be using the right key word to find that item. Google, you can type in the question and BOOM results. Certainly its a plethora of results but it gives the patrons what they want instantly. Tennant discusses this in the fact that google makes their search user friendly. It is not to say that library catalogs are not, but he showed some examples of some college libraries where their online catalog was just not at all user friendly. Catalogs are certainly librarian friendly, but what truly matters is that it needs to function to give the patrons the results they are looking for. I believe he said librarians want to research the patron just wants the results! I can fully understand that.


There was so much more to the video that I thought was interesting. For example, he talked about a patron wanting to find a book on Hamlet by William Shakespeare. You go on Amazon, type in those key words and you get results instantly. In one of the catalogs he shows that a book that really had no relevance other than that it quoted hamlet in the piece showed up in the search results. Reasoning why it came up because it was mentioned in the notes of the catalog source. There is no need for that item to come up in a search for that patron. They are looking for Hamlet, the WHOLE piece, not just a fraction. That is what Tennant discusses. There needs to be a new format to the MARC format in regards to metadata. And after the confusion of all the cataloging stuff that I have been learning this honestly made the most sense to me! Mind you, this video was from 2005 and I am sure more and more libraries are moving towards this progressive advancement, but certainly it was so interesting listening to what he had to say!!

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