Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Becoming A Socially-Valuable Online Entrepreneur One Post At A Time - Robin Good's Latest News

Robin Good asks in his posting on Nov 14:

"Do you want to be come an online entrepreneur, a small independent and sustainable publisher on the topic(s) that reflect your true interests and passions?"
He's an example of someone who is pushing the boundaries of what we have traditionally understood publishing to be. As such, Good and others like him present a serious challenge to the way librarians have gone about our work. Through established relationships with traditional publishers and vendors of books and journals, librarians have done a pretty good job of keeping up with information that is published. Publishers send us catalogs and booksellers provide wonderful services to help us more effectively and efficiently select the materials we will add to our collections.

How do we begin to think about identifying and collecting materials published in blogs and other online forms? How does inclusion of material like this fit with collecting policies? Or better, how should we re-write collecting policies to account for materials published independently in online media?

Cataloging or indexing present questions. Should a Weblog be cataloged as a single entity, or should each posting be indexed? Or, should such material be cataloged at all? If not cataloged, how would one preserve bibliographically the fact that it exists (or existed at some point in time)?

Naturally, there is a kind of ephemeral nature to anything published only electronically. Should such material be preserved in some way? Is this a role for libraries?