who owns cooperative cataloging?

Did you think anyone did? Are we served when an institution does?

A significant change for MSU in the new SkyRiver environment is the inability to contribute to PCC cataloging. MSU was (and still is, in name) a CONSER and NACO library, but the move from OCLC to SkyRiver prevented participation in these activities. SkyRiver has been denied any mechanism for contributing records to the CONSER database (which is embedded in OCLC), and has no mechanism for doing NACO authority work (though as of this writing, the Library of Congress and SkyRiver are in communication about a possible arrangement for NACO).

http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alcts/resources/ano/v21/n2/feat/system.cfm (Thanks to Ed Corrado for the link).

Back when there were multiple regional “bibliographic utilities”, did CONSER and NACO exist yet, or does the OCLC monopoly pre-date them?  I do not know.  Certainly if those formal cooperative cataloging initiatives had existed when there was more than one traditional ‘bibliographic utility’, a library wouldn’t have been required to participate in a certain ‘utility’ in order to participate in the cooperative work. Are the goals of cooperative initiatives like these served by turning down qualified participants willing to contribute cataloging resources unless they subscribe to the monopoly provider?


2 thoughts on “who owns cooperative cataloging?”

  1. huh? Really? This is potentially quite frightening. I hope and hope it is straightened out and done so quickly. What happens if/when other NACO/SACO (or PCC for that matter) libraries decline to join OCLC (for whatever reason)?
    thanks for a very thought provoking and nightmare inducing post.

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