David Lankes wrote, “Rather than cataloging artifacts and assuming they are self-contained, we need to build systems that focus on the relationships.” This quote proposes the idea of building catalogs which are functionally different from what we see in libraries today. Instead of basic inventory systems, which can be cumbersome or useless for members of the library, Professor Lankes proposes that future catalogs be structured to include information that is more contextual in nature. This poses a few questions. If we push for this new system of cataloging, who should contribute in the design and development of this new system? How much influence and involvement should members have in their design? How should librarians address value of contextual information and judge its inclusion in the catalog? Should contextual information value be differentiated based on categories of the materials within the catalog (ex. fiction vs. historical, etc)?
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