First, the good news: Lily the NYAM Special Projects Librarian has let it be known that the presentations from the 2006 August RLG Members Forum are now available as MP3 files. The talks include The Future of MARC by Bill Moen and Sally McCallum, and and topics such as Folksonomies, visual resource cataloging, and describing and sharing digital images in a musem setting. Good stuff.
Now some bad news for those of you who, like me, work in the world of Technical Services: I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the following e-mail. It was forwarded to me by a coworker, and apparently appeared on the AUTOCAT LIBPROC-LIST listserv of SUNY Buffalo. The list owner says that the poster requested anonymously, and that he has no further information.
I’ll say this once more: I have no idea of this email is authentic, or if it accurately describes the situation at Hampton University. I hope it doesn’t–the administrator who thinks that merely converting the collection from print to electronic resources absolves them from having to keep a TS department on hand including catalogers who are familiar with such materials is likely in for a rude awakening at some point. On the other hand, neither do I doubt that such people exist and it’s something we’re going to have to deal with at some point as catalogers. That said, the email has been posted in its entirety behind the edit.
"The author of the below requested anonymity. Please do not ask me for
more information about the closure as I haven’t any.
The word came down today that the Technical Services area of Hampton
University is no longer necessary. Activities of Technical Services, such
as cataloging, processing, etc. will be handled by the relevant
departments (government documents, periodicals, special collections, etc.)
Copy cataloging will be handled by support staff, new material cataloging
will be done by vendors, no authority work will be performed, and as of
July 1, 2006, no materials or supplies will be ordered for Technical
Professional staff under contract will not be retained after the
contract(s) expire at the end of the current term.
No public announce will be made of this as it is not felt to be
necessary; it represents a "natural evolution" of the library as it
transitions toward an electronic future with fewer print items and more
electronic resources that do not require cataloging.
I believe Hampton University is the first Historic Black College and
University in the United States to dissolve its cataloging department.
The item was sent me today. Again, I have no further details so please
don’t ask me for them, I know only what is in the statement. Thank you
Douglas Winship listowner/editor AUTOCAT LIBPROC-LIST"