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October 30, 2009

Library of Congress Releases Reports on Bibliographic Record Production

The Library of Congress is releasing today the results of its analysis of the creation and distribution of bibliographic data in U.S. and Canadian libraries.

The Library commissioned R2 Consulting LLC of Contoocook, N.H., to search and describe the current marketplace for cataloging records in the MARC format, with primary focus on the economics of current practices, including existing incentives and barriers to both contribution and availability. Paired with the study online is a report of an internal working group indicating how recommendations from "On the Record: Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control" may be implemented at the Library. Both reports are available at www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/.

R2 summarizes its 10 findings concerning Library of Congress cataloging and how it supports bibliographic-description needs across the U.S. and Canada. The report indicates there is adequate cataloging capacity in North America, but distribution channels and cooperative use of the records have not achieved their full potential. It also describes the market for cataloging records as "conflicted," meaning that it faces demands to be commercially solvent as well as freely accessible and open.

Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, said "The findings of the R2 study will be important for all libraries and administrators who are interested in the possibilities of cooperative cataloging and in making maximum use of bibliographic records created for all institutions, everywhere. I am grateful to Ruth Fischer and Rick Lugg for their thoughtful report."

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Founded in 1800, the Library seeks to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, which bring to bear the world’s knowledge in almost all of the world’s languages and America’s private sector intellectual and cultural creativity in almost all formats. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s websites www.loc.gov and myLOC.gov.

R2 Consulting LLC was founded in 2000 by partners Rick Lugg and Ruth Fischer and specializes in selection-to-access workflow analysis and organizational redesign of academic libraries. The firm also participated in the "Economics and Organization of Bibliographic Data" session of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. R2’s primary professional interest is to help library organizations improve performance and adapt to the changing information environment.

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PR 09-219
10/30/09
ISSN 0731-3527

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