Of course if one wants to answer the question "What movies did John Huston
direct?" one goes to a reference source.  If, however, one wants to answer
the question "What movies does the library provide access to that John
Huston directed?" then one would go to the library catalog, PROVIDED such
information is present.  I recall reports of some early video tape
collections organized by director, then title, in an attempt to address
this information need.  Recording this information in the record provides a
much more useful and adaptable framework than a mere physical arrangement.
 And while the specifics of a "post-MARC" world are still tenuous, the
place of relational structures, such as those articulated in a linked data
scenario, would appear to be promising.  Improving our existing data,
however crudely, is a key step to making this future transition.

I do like the idea of leveraging existing data sources outside the catalog
that already specify this information.  How amenable the organizations
providing such data, and how amenable the data is to leverage are important
caveats to my enthusiasm.

John Myers, Catalog Librarian
Schaffer Library, Union College
Schenectady NY 12308


On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 7:34 AM, James Weinheimer <
weinheimer.ji...@gmail.com> wrote:

>  [snip]
> I hesitate to bring this up because most probably everybody already thinks
> of me as a purveyor of doom and gloom, but I still believe that we must
> consider these things in realistic terms. Although the attempt is laudable,
> I still say that we must first of all see through the eyes of the users who
> would be interested in this kind of information. For instance, if I am a
> regular user and I wanted to know the movies directed by John Huston, what
> would be the first thing I would think of?
> [snip]
> There is also the option that the library catalog could interact with the
> IMDB (and/or Wikipedia) using the APIs.
> This opens up a highly pertinent question for me: I don't even know what a
> library catalog is supposed to provide in today's semi-total information
> environment. This is a great example. We can't ignore these wonderful
> sites. What should the catalog do today?

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