Network Infrastructure for Shared Print Collections

At the ALA Midwinter conference last week, I had the opportunity to talk with several groups about some work that OCLC Research has taken up in the area of distributed print archiving.  Briefly, we are looking at various ‘lightweight’ approaches to enabling more effective disclosure of institutional print archiving commitments. The MARC 583 Action Note (for which a rich controlled vocabulary already exists) has emerged as a potential vehicle for this, not least because it is already indexed and displayed in a variety of OCLC management systems that are widely deployed across the library community.

As noted in a recent report on policy frameworks for shared print collections (which Lorcan mentioned here), the absence of any network infrastructure for disclosing archiving commitments is seriously hampering efforts to manage print collections as a collective resource.   And this is why I was making the rounds at Midwinter to get input from various key constituencies on a proposed solution based on use of the MARC 583.  Because there was general interest in the slides from presentations at the ALCTS CCDO, PAIG and CONSER gatherings, I’ve posted them on slideshare.

As we move forward with this work, we’ll continue to consult broadly with collection managers, preservation administrators, and the library cataloging community — but in a focused and pragmatic fashion, as we’re aiming to support disclosure of archiving commitments in WorldCat before midyear.  There’s nothing like a fire at your back to keep you moving forward…