In response to an announcement about LC’s hiring a consulting firm, R2 Consulting, to assess the market for machine readable bibliographic records, Marian Veld said out loud something that is on all our minds.  “This is scary. Do you think LC is considering getting out of the cataloging business?”

Well, they should be — considering it, that is.  LC has to make strategic decisions just like the rest of us.  Considering something does not mean that you will necessarily do it.  You are considering it.  The purpose of consideration should lead to advantageous decision-making.  So, let’s not panic one way or the other … yet.

I do think that after a century of incremental changes to library cataloging; a number of pressures and opportunities are making it likely that we will see radical changes.  I think we have come to a tipping point in cataloging and it’s scaring the heck out of many of us.