The creators of the eXtensible Catalog project want to revolutionize the way libraries bring their resources to consumers. The system automatically “FRBR-izes” MARC data and can include extra facets if the library administrator wants them. They also merge DC and RDF information into one system. After looking at some of the “Related Literature” on their website, like this 2011 ALA conference presentation or this poster presented at the 2011 Digital Library Federation forum, I was fascinated.
The vision for XC is bigger through “semantic data” and “linked web.” If I understand David Lindhahl’s presentation correctly, the program would allow computers to “communicate” with each other by creating specific URIs for all types of data and share that data through the web.
With all of the translating and automated relationship-building, I could see a potential for bugginess that may be troubling on a local level. And even though responses in their forum say XC is not intended to be an ILS, it seems like it could with some tweaks. By “incorporat[ing] changing metadata practices and standards” in XC, the creators have taken a proactive stance. They really want to improve the user experience and increase access without asking users to jump through hoops. I will have to keep an eye on this.
On a different note, I would like to hear from my course mates with library experience regarding the whole OPAC issue. Why do librarians hate OPAC? Or is it getting a bad rap?