Yesterday Eric Morgan wrote to the Web4lib listserv wondering about starting up a new listserv exploring the catalog of the future (a topic that is becoming one of my de facto research areas because, well, I’m interested). Today it’s up and running and I’ve subscribed. You can join, too, by going here.
One of the interesting discussions that came up while deciding on the name of the list (ngo4lib for “next gen opac” was nixed because it sounds like a government agency… but I’m glad it’s gone because I HATE the acronym “OPAC.” It just smacks of everything that’s wrong with our current discovery system. It’s incomprehensible to non-librarians. It specifies that this system is online, which only makes sense if you’re differentiating between this and the card version. And by specifying “public access” it makes it sound like there’s a whole bunch of other good stuff out there that we just don’t let the riff raff see. But I digress… a lot.) Anyway, the question came up whether a listserv was really the best format for this discussion, and the answer was very quickly and decisively “yes.” Hmmm. Really? Someone pointed out that email is integrated into our lives while checking blogs isn’t. But my aggregator is now a part of my day, from beginning to end, just like my email.
Oh well, I don’t really care that it’s email. I was just interested in the speed with which other formats were dismissed. And I guess this way it’s more apparent that anyone can post, so that should help foster interaction.
Anyway, I’m signed up and look forward to a lively discussion. I wonder if any of the major vendors will sign on. Innovative Interfaces? SirsiDynix? Listening in could be not only a great source of ideas, but also a great PR move.