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Something on the odd nature of e-lists Kathryn Wright <LIBKAT@INDST.BITNET> 17 Jul 1991 18:52 UTC

 I guess this is a plea that if you see something of interest to other people on
 other discussion lists on one list, that you forward it on to the appropriate
 lists.  I hope Ms. Wright isn't advocating a FCC for discussion lists when
 she mentions "uncontrolled discussion lists", but rather the fact that an
 up-to-date list of discussion groups and topics discussed is very difficult
 to maintain.  Perhaps a publishing/commercial opportunity for some
 enterprising people.  (Apparently some universities have people whose job
 is to read and route electronic conference/bulletin board/list messages
 to people or topical distribution files--ALA 1991 ALCTS Role of the
 Professional--Keeping up--is it possible?)

 Pam Deemer
 Emory U. Law Library, Atlanta GA
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 Reply-To:     "AUTOCAT: Library cataloging and authorities discussion group"
               <AUTOCAT@UVMVM.BITNET>, Kathryn Wright <LIBKAT@INDST.BITNET>
 Sender:       "AUTOCAT: Library cataloging and authorities discussion group"
 To:           David Chen <LIBDWC@EMUVM1.BITNET>,
               "<Pam Deemer>" <LIBPED@EMUVM1.BITNET>,
               Linda Visk <LIBRLV@EMUVM1.BITNET>,
               Susan Bailey <LIBSBB@EMUVM1.BITNET>

 Just an observation relative to electronic discussion groups that indicates
 their unique nature.

 Currently two discussions are in progress on AUTOCAT that are also being
 carried on on other lists:  the question of citing and archiving electronic
 forums and journals is also on ARACHNET (A Loose Association of Electronic
 Discussion Groups and Electronic Journals of Interest to Scholars; Dan Lester,
 as a multi-listowner, is a member), and the discussion of raising dusty
 problems in cataloging older books was raised on NOTRBCAT by a nonmember
 who, I trust, is getting the benefit of NOTRBCAT responses through a colleague
 who is a member.  At the moment I'm trying to retrieve the AUTOCAT log for July
 to determine whether the discussion actually started here.

 Besides pointing out the ease with which a single discussion can weave around
 among more than one forum, with some of the same participants in each, this
 situation also reminds us that topics of valid concern to a much wider
 potential constitutency tend to arise in various forums.  Questions of
 copyright in the electronic discussion medium have been worked over on
 HUMANIST, LSTOWN-L, and ARACHNET, to my knowledge, and this is only one small
 example.  Where is the organization and the indexing of this information?
 Various paths present themselves.  It's good for the library community to begin
 concerning itself with issues involving the networks.  But AUTOCAT is only part
 of the library community.  And the library community is only part of the popu-
 lation that should be concerned.  The formation of discussion groups is
 essentially uncontrolled.

 Kathryn Wright
 Indiana State University