Cataloguing Essay

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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0264-0473.htm EL 26,2 Cataloguers in a global information network environment Charles O. Omekwu Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Lagos Campus, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria Abstract Purpose – This paper aims to explore the traditional and emerging roles of cataloguing professionals in a global network information environment. That exploration becomes even more critical in view of migration of information resources into digital, electronic and virtual domains. Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory research design was adopted. The method was to first examine current issues in library and information practice with specific focus on digital technology, the electronic environment, automation, networking, the internet, cyberspace and virtual libraries. The next approach was to examine the challenges of operating in a globalized information environment. Findings – Cataloguers have key roles in knowledge segmentation, identification, organization and authentication. They are vital as content and system managers, software specialists and information retrieval system designers. In all, more than 23 roles are articulated for forward-looking cataloguing professionals. Originality/value – The paper’s originality lies in its argument that roles are correlates of competencies and that as the practice of knowledge organization migrates to a dominantly global information network environment, cataloguers must upgrade their competencies in order to effectively operate in the emerging environment. Keywords Cataloguing, Globalization, Generation and dissemination of information, Management roles, Nigeria Paper type Conceptual paper 188 Received 16 March 2007 Revised 16 May 2007 Accepted 1 June 2007 The Electronic Library Vol. 26 No. 2, 2008 pp. 188-201 q
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