The second keynote of the morning was Dianne Hillman – she talked about collaborations between programmers and catalogers.
Dianne dated her career by showing us a few tools that I remember from my early time as a librarian (Cord catalog rods and a card filer)! I wonder what that says about the pace of change from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. For most of her talk however Dianne focused on the emerging roles of catalogers in libraries and potential collaborations that exist between catalogers and programmers. Dianne has published a few times in the past few years about RDA 1) http://dlib.org/dlib/january10/hillmann/01hillmann.html and 2) http://www.dlib.org/dlib/january07/coyle/01coyle.html (among others) and it was interesting to hear her thoughts about the intersection between MARC, RDA, ISBD, AACR, RDF, XML and other ABTs (Acronym based technologies).
Her presentation focused on the need to re-shape the cataloging profession and as such she spent a few minutes talking about the potential impact of RDA encoded in RDF in terms of serving as a replacement for the MARC encoding and representation standards. She introduced some concepts from her recent publications including metadata registries, use of identifiers as opposed to literals in records and use of single record or vocabulary repositories as opposed to replicated records across thousands of databases.
The audience asked some interesting questions 1) about economics of migration (it is tough but not changing is not an option), 2) about the future of cataloging in libraries (traditional cataloging is diminishing – copy cataloging is the current model, distributed cataloging/data-geeking is the future, getting rid of all the catalogers first does not make sense – get them the skills to change), 4) what programmers could learn from the cataloging community (creativity in data representation and use, understanding of the complexities of library data).
The rest of the morning and early afternoon is devoted to short IT presentations & should be very interesting.