"The Library is a sphere whose exact center is any one of its hexagons and whose circumference is inaccessible." ~ Jorge Luis Borges, "The Library of Babel"
After doing a bit of catching up with the Library sphere, Super Librarians, and embedded librarianship, imagine how pleased I was as a founder member to discover all the initiatives over on HVCats: High Visibility Cataloguing. If you haven’t checked it out already (and you really should), then take a look here. Look no further than the RLUK (Research Library) report 2010 for an overwhelming argument for why cataloguers are not redundant and in fact should be first in line to save hidden collections. From those libraries who responded to this survey 2 years ago, there were over 13 million volumes uncatalogued, ergo inaccessible and hidden. With all the discussion surrounding rare books collections, conservation, and accessibility to materials, the question of retrospective cataloguing should still be on everyones lips.
- museums, public libraries and independent libraries have a higher proportion of collection which are invisible
- modern material is being added to backlogs
- Responders are interested in the retrospective cataloguing problem and exploring technical solutions for this
Cat23 for cataloguers as part of the solution:
Finding out what cataloguing actually involves and its core values.
- Helen Stein on the cat23 project
- the invisibility of the astounding wealth of hidden material of significant value for researchers and wider public
- prioritising material to be catalogued
- continual influx of modern material exascerbating the backlog issue
- technological advances and solutions
The second report in the UDC strand has been undertaken in collaboration with OCLC and will be released in January 2013.
‘thoughts from scarlettlibrarian’