In France, as in about everywhere else in the world, we are brainstorming and acting to help our library catalogs evolve towards more interoperability with other communities.
To do so, we are aiming at making them linked data-friendly and searching for the best solution to do so, implementing FRBR in the meantime and using the best we can find in RDA.
Academic librarians today work collectively to feed the unique national catalog, Sudoc, with records. A national agency, Abes, is in charge of Sudoc, among other things.
Our professional working interface is called WinIBW. To communicate, the network of catalogers have a mailing list, Sucat.
WinIBW is getting old and is not really up to the task when it comes to facing the new challenges we mentionned.
Meanwhile, there are a lot a various ILS on French soil, and many academic librarians started asking for a mutualized system that could maybe extend the national cataloguing system to all other ILS functions.
Abes accepted to conduct a study to explore the opportunity of such a mutualized system. This lead to the constitution of 2 working groups in October, 2013 to define what we would expect of such a mutualized ILS. I was part of the group who studied more precisely the cataloguing and metadata production functions and workflows we thought would be needed in a new system.
The groups’ work led to the decision in March 2014 to split the project in two in the future :
Being the only cataloguer in the group, and being fully aware that my opinions could not represent all of my more-than-3000 collegues in the national network, I used in March 2014 my blog and Sucat mailing-list to conduct an informal poll and ask them simple questions :
From their answers, I filled a synthetic table, and in November 2014 finally produced a detailed analysis of the remarks and suggestions I had received from my fellow cataloguers.
How do French academic librarians catalog today?
National OPAC : Sudoc
Professionnal cataloguing interface : WinIBW
Format = Unimarc (not MARC21)
Cataloguing standards = ISBD and AFNOR (not AACR and not RDA)
SGB = Système de gestion de bibliothèque (or SIGB = Système intégré de gestion de bibliothèques) = ILS
SGBm = Système de gestion de bibliothèque mutualisé : a collective ILS
Colodus : web app developped by Abes to work on the sole item level of documents. It allows non-experts to add or suppress items in the national catalog. It has a form-like interface in mostly natural language, that doesn’t require a throrough knowledge of Unimarc.