Globe and Mail: All over the map.
“If anything shows how Library and Archives Canada needs to upgrade its cataloguing systems, it could be the fact that staff realized that they had not one but two originals of a valuable 16th-century map only when they read about it on July 27 in The Globe and Mail.”
Okay, I suppose I need to stop blaming the cataloguers and get to the real point of why LAC’s catalogue sucks: budget cuts. An “inside source” (okay, a friend of a friend…) says that LAC’s budget is cut about 5% every year. That is NOT a good thing! I haven’t a clue how the budget is used (or mismanaged) but I’m pretty sure that cuts never lead to anything good. Sure, throwing money at a problem is not necessarily a solution, but if you want a good, functioning catalogue, your cataloguers have to be well trained and have needs! Cataloguing is most definitely a learn-on-the-job position, and there are always changes going on (new subject headings, changed subject headings, changes in classification schemes, etc.). It’s a tough job, and if you don’t have the staff, it makes it harder for everyone. Not to mention the staff needed for systems and databases needs.
Seriously, our National Library should be a source that I can trust and rely on, but it’s not. If I download a record from NLC (from the 040), there’s no question that I have to check the Dewey and subject headings because they contain errors (though I admit, the Dewey discrepancies are simply because of local policies being different).
I’ll go off and daydream now about what it’ll be like should I ever work there… (Visions of spring fountains and playful bunnies come to mind :p Okay, so you can’t have bunnies in the library because they’ll mess on the books, but I can dream can’t I?)