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I was meant for the stage... or Amazon or Google or something
Maybe it's the bachelor's degree in a joke major from a football factory school talking here... but why must libraries constantly overthink themselves into obsolescence?

Why must the only search that brings back relevant data be an "exact search"? And, even then, why can't that search include the leading article?

I realize metasearch isn't the solution to every problem. But it would solve a vast majority of them. And then I look at A9's OpenSearch and I think, "Jesus Christ, what are these momos in the NISO committee doing?"

That's, of course, not fair. OpenSearch will be nowhere near as sophisticated or as robust as NISO Metasearch. And that is, of course, exactly why it will exist everywhere but libraries and NISO Metasearch will exist nowhere but libraries.

Don't get me wrong. I love and embrace the rigidity of the MARC record. That being said, I want both authorities and friendly, loose and sloppy interfaces. I want Voyager and Amazon. I want Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar. And I want to be able to move around between simple and complex interfaces at will.

And as a developer, I want RSS and SRU, not OpenURL 1.0 and Z39.50. I like MODS. Hell, I like Dublin Core. I also like knowing that a good MARC record is living behind it.

Why can't libraries cater to the information semi-literate once and a while?

3 Comments:

At 3:52 PM, April 29, 2005, Blogger Art said...

The distinction may be between getting something working and trying to make it perfect from the start, mammals versus dinosaurs and all that. The web has demonstrated that getting a work in progress online that shows some potential is often far more successful than sitting on it until it seems fully formed. I also suspect that some library complexity gets pushed to the front end because the backend of most library systems can't rest on the hardware/software that amazon and the like have to draw on so. In other words, the wetware may have to contribute more because the system can't fill in the gaps very well. That's probably less true now, but the mindset and many of the members of the NISO committees probably go back to the bad old days of OSI and more costly CPU cycles.

 
At 12:45 AM, April 30, 2005, Blogger Ross said...

This is a good point. I think libraries could learn a thing or two from the Extreme Programming crowd. I think the XP folks could learn a thing or two from libraries, as well. Meeting in the middle makes for some nice partnerships.

 
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