BibFrame: The future of the library catalog

bibframe-newlogoMost library users have a difficult time navigating the library catalog. Google’s simple interface makes Google the go to source of information discovery. By redesigning the library catalog to look and operate like Google, users would feel more confident using the library as their primary source. As discussed in the article Charles A. Cutter and Edward Tufte: Coming to a Library Near You, via BIBFRAME there is an overall opinion that libraries should move toward replacing MARC format with Bib Frame.Moving away from the complex catalog once suggested by Charles Cutter, the library is looking to do away with limiting searches to just author, title, subject and classification number. Instead a user should be able to search the library catalog like they would search Google. Embracing the minimalism of Edward Tufte, a single search interface that resembles Google’s will most likely replace the complex catalogs of today, doing away with complex language, symbols and query words. Bib Frame will move library catalogs toward open link data extending the libraries sources beyond their physical collections. Becoming more web friendly will allow libraries to achieve the same popularity and success as Google. BibFrame will go beyond MARC description and link relationships to user searches.

Since BibFrame is still in its early stages libraries should keep up with its progress because if BibFrame is well received by the library community huge changes in meta data entry will occur. Though BibFrame will finally allow libraries to keep up with the technological and web advances without sacrificing too much of their time and budget, what will be the role of the librarian and cataloger once BibFrame is implemented? These coming changes will affect the library community on all levels and there needs to be a discussion about whether or not the library community can afford a change such as this. We know the benefits but we also need to consider risks.

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