The 2012 Warsaw Conference

On August 9th 2012 the Standing Committee held a conference Bibliography in a Digital Age at the National Library of Poland in Warsaw. The event was a Satellite Meeting to the main IFLA 2012 Congress. The purpose of the event was to share: experiences , techniques and challenges in order to identify developing themes & best practice.

Emerging Themes

  • A need for pragmatic selection policies
  • Open services to wider user groups
  • Acquisition & application of new skills
  • Linking & use of persistent identifiers
  • Definition of ‘published’ digital material
  • Targeted metadata transformation & crosswalks
  • Requirement for multiple forms of metadata

National Bibliographic Agencies:

  • Operate in a global market
  • Create & supply metadata for a wider range of resources than ever before

Pragmatism & Selection

No universal solution exists & national variation exists between:

  • Coverage of print, digital and multimedia
  • Breadth & depth of descriptions applied
  • Definition & treatment of materials

But agreement that:

  • We can’t be exhaustive but we can be representative
  • Should balance effort in creation of quality description & access points
  • ‘Minimal’ must still be accurate
  • Must be selective in harvesting & enhancement techniques
  • Advance (e.g. CIP) data is still valued


New user types require greater flexibility in:

  • Support skills (e.g. IT, legal, library)
  • Access options including connection to content
  • Output formats & standards
  • Personalisation of data and services

But all value consistency, authority & persistence of services offered…


‘Open’ is becoming the norm via:

  • Open licensing models
  • Open access routes
  • Open standards

Charging is a ‘MARC’ or ‘premium service’ issue

Increasing data re-use requires proactive licensing

Growth Areas

  • Automated data creation – and enhancement
  • Web harvesting – selection/domain/event
  • Large scale processing of e-publications – via new workflows
  • Growth in the use of ontologies and controlled vocabularies
  • Semantic approaches – from ‘tags to triples’
  • Development and maintenance of persistent links & IDs
  • Linking – to and from resources