The Future of Scholarship and Librarianship

The attached paper by Thomas Mann, is an examination of the overall principles and practices of both reference service and cataloging operations in the promotion of scholarly research, pointing out important differences not just in content available onsite and offsite, but also among necessary search techniques.

It specifies the differences between scholarship and quick information seeking, and examines the implications of those differences for the future of cataloging. It examines various proposals that the profession should concentrate its efforts on alternatives to cataloging: relevance ranking, tagging, under-the-hood programming, etc. The paper considers the need for, and requirements of, education of researchers; and it examines in detail many of the glaring disconnects between theory and practice in the library profession today. Finally, it provides an overview of the whole "shape of the elephant” of library services, within which cataloging is only one component.

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