- Council of State University Libraries (CSUL)
- CSUL Committees
- CSUL Task Forces
Charge: The state university libraries are facing two critical needs: to regain control of our cataloging processes so that we can focus attention on bibliographic control of unique materials and digital collections; and to develop new models for sharing work and expertise across the system. This task force has realized that migrating to a single bibliographic record architecture is our best hope for addressing these needs. In our deliberations, we considered whether the state university libraries would benefit from initiating a move to a shared bibliographic record architecture in preparation for a system migration in the next three to five years. Given the dissatisfaction with the current system, and the prospect of new technologies coming available in that time frame, it seems prudent to begin that planning process now. Based on our analysis of needs and current opportunities, we feel that a migration to a single bibliographic record architecture across the state university libraries is inevitable, and the decision we must make is only a question of when. We recommend that the state university libraries begin moving in this direction, beginning with an initial discovery phase for the eventual migration of all of the state university libraries to a catalog architecture based on a single bibliographic record for each unique item, to be shared by all libraries containing that item.
In our exploration of the issues, we identified three distinct areas for further analysis: discovery tools, delivery tools, and inventory control. The recommendations in this report deal primarily with inventory control, which we see as the most critical area for the state university libraries.
Since the Unmediated Borrowing Task Force is already looking at some of the issues related to delivery tools, and we feel that their work will be a logical start to further explorations. The issues related to discovery tools are complex and would require more analysis than we could complete in the time available to us. It seems clear that users don’t want to look in multiple places for information and that they want simplified, Google-like searching. Our current catalogs are far from meeting this expectation. Libraries also need to provide better linkages between search tools, allowing users to find everything at once without partitions that currently exist between the catalog, digital resources, and article-level content. We recommend that a new task force be charged to investigate these issues. To that end, we have included an initial charge for this new Discovery Tool Task Force as an appendix to this document.