So, the session (seminar)? that I co-taught about MARC, record structure and secrets of the catalog went well. Overall turnout about 60 people. I think that’ s pretty good. My colleague & I will probably (hopefully) followup with more sessions later. I had a kind of big snafu — pressed what I thought was the magic secret extraordinarily hard to remember shortcut key combo to launch the movie from ppt and bzzzzpt! the screen went blank (actually blue) about the time I was ready to start running around in circles going “ahhhhhhhh!” I managed to press some magic secret combo on the laptop which fixed everything. sigh. I felt a little off after that.

We had some good questions including what I consider the cataloging questions of the moment. Why do we need cataloging, when we can just tag everything in ________ (your favorite tagging product)? Isn’t MARC dead? I’m not willing to nail the coffin shut on MARC because I think so many of the problems are caused by faulty ILS. I think it’s ridiculous that libraries and consortiums spend so much money on junky dbs. Really, would this happen in the corporate world? I understand the frustration with vendors and the desire to get a good opensource alternative out there. I surely hope it works one day and I’d love to be part of it.

As for tagging the catalog… Why not? If the catalog itself is not affected (controlled access points stay, well, controlled) then well… I think allowing users to tag the catalog is a neat idea. However, I just think that there are enough people who won’t want to see a user generated tag cloud on a record, but if it could sit outside the catalog with RSS feeds for tags, users (love to see my favorite searches saved and rss’ed… kind of what ebay does but actually live without re-executing…) I do wonder how many users would use it (or do use if available) .

I know that some systems do this, but not nearly enough, in my book… and yes, I’ve seen PennTags. I think it’s interesting.