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Online catalogs : what users and librarians want : an OCLC report

by Karen Calhoun; Diane Cellentani; OCLC.;

  Print book

6 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Malevolent Motives   (2009-06-11)


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by DenverJeffrey

The real purpose of this document is to create a division between librarians and library users. The author wants to contrive these differences using her data in order to promote what she supposes to be the preferences of users and to suppress what she supposes to be the preferences of librarians. In fact, users and librarians seek the same things: collection, organization, preservation of, and access to, information. Karen Calhoun, who is really the sole author of the report, has for years been preaching her belief that library catalogers and cataloging are no longer necessary.


She thinks that metadata of any quality is sufficient for libraries' needs and therefore has been proposing that libraries use metadata from any source, regardless of its quality, completeness, or adherence to standards. In this new publication, she is working to further promote her notion that library catalogers are unnecessary and that metadata quality is unimportant by setting up a false dilemma, that is, we must pay attention either to user needs or librarian needs but not both. Then she concludes that only user needs are worthy of consideration.  


The author and her sidekick have taken their mission against catalogers and cataloging where they can do the most harm: inside OCLC. One of their first attempts to destroy cataloging was to introduce a silly and impractical record reuse policy. However, librarians and others saw the real motives behind their bungled attempt to hurt resource access in libraries and soundly defeated the anti-cataloging initiative. The present publication is but the next step in their quixotic quest to kill online catalogs and to eliminate library cataloging.

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