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Re: Re-thinking Serials Librarianship mgeller@ATHENA.MIT.EDU 09 Mar 1993 14:29 UTC

I have no great insights into our futures as serialists, but I have
some questions about the future of cataloguing.  It seems to me that
there's a tremendous push these days towards "streamlining".  It
generally is a directive from "above".  Usually the approach is to try
to figure out "what we don't have to do".  In fact, it has been
suggested to me that there is no future in cataloguing.  Someday, a
machine will be able to create access.  I often find it hard to
identify what isn't necessary in a serials record and can't believe
that a machine could do what I do.  So, I'm a bit at odds with these
images of the present and future of serials cataloguing.  And I wonder
if these trends will have to be undone in the future.

So here are some more questions to add to Birdie's:

In the present, are other cataloguing units looking at the
streamlining directive from the perspective of what we can do more
quickly or more efficiently (as opposed to what we don't have to do)?
What ideas have you come up with to make the cataloguing go faster
without sacrificing quality?

As for the future, can a machine really catalogue an IEEE conference?
Will there be cataloguers a dozen years from now?  Or will we be
replaced by optical scanners?

Marilyn Geller
Serials Cataloger
MIT Libraries