Since moving to the National and Public library scene the extent to which MACAR‘s focus has been on the sorts of resources housed in academic repositories has become very apparent. MACAR included non-academic library representatives but they were outnumbered by those from the academic scene. Now I have joined the National Library Board of Singapore (NLB) I have had to face up to just how limited in focus MACAR’s past work has been. On the other hand, maybe progress best kicks off when it is made a small step at a time.
At the NLB a preliminary list of resource types for the national and public library sectors has been prepared. It contains over 50 resource type terms. Some of those will almost certainly be rationalized, but it is clear a list of resource types in a national library is longer than the current MACAR resource type list. And such a list is only the beginning of working towards best practice OAI (ORE?) metadata applications.
With some of the MACAR members now working with ANDS, and MACAR coming under the umbrella of CAUL, one might expect MACAR to be entrenched further with research and academic library requirements. I wonder if there are any realistic chances of national libraries cooperating with each other and even with academic libraries, and if there are real benefits to be gained by their doing so. Since moving into the national and public library sector I think there are real potentials for users if it could happen. To expose and share the specialist heritage and wider cultural and digitized newspaper collections that such libraries house, especially alongside libraries dedicated to research and education, can only be a Good Thing.