b'Cataloging in the Twenty-First CenturyIt is useful to view modern cataloging practice in an historical perspective. In the nineteenth century,as libraries grew and cataloging became more thorough, it was clear that some form of cooperationamong libraries was desirable. For many years the distribution of printed library cards was theprincipal method of cooperative cataloging. Later computerized utilities replaced printed cards.From the beginning it was clear that without principles and standards guaranteeing uniformity,cooperative cataloging would be impossible. In the very first volume of the American LibraryAssociations Library Journal (1876-77) there are several lengthy discussions of cooperativecataloging, including an article on the topic by Melvil Dewey. It was out of these discussions andthe voluminous correspondence that ensued that the modern standards of cataloging developed, boththe rules for descriptive cataloging and Cutters Rules for a Dictionary Catalog. These rules are notarbitrary but are firmly grounded in logic. They have stood unchallenged for over a hundred yearsbecause they have served to facilitate accurate and comprehensive retrieval in the modern library.The world of libraries in the twenty-first century is already quite different from what it was onlyrecently. More information is available in machine-readable form, and ready access to the Internethas changed the way many users seek and find information. Traditional methods of storage andretrieval in libraries will increasingly be supplemented by new methods engendered by artificialintelligence. The challenge of catalogers in the future is to approach every new technology andtheory knowledgeably and fearlessly, judge them against what we know are the soundest principles,and embrace the good and reject the spurious, always keeping in mind the ultimate goal of meeting,even anticipating, the changing needs of the library users.A-49'