Today someone asked me about how the new LC report (http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/news/draft-report.html) meshed with participatory library concepts. Much of this is very compatible: user create materials, wider cooperation, distribution of tasks, etc.
However, a central tenant of participatory is the focus on conversation and how artifacts only make sense in the context of someone’ use. Perhaps it is the nature of the beast, but this approach to bibliographic control is in making descriptions of artifacts more standard and more efficient. So it is participatory in process, but not result. What would help is a recognition (perhaps as part of the cohesive philosophy of bibliographic control discussed) that any artifact, and thus it’s description, gains meaning and utility in the context of communities and conversations. Further that these conversations and context often exist BETWEEN records and items.
My question for the committee would be how could bibliographic control incorporate contexts between items or be applied to conversations and non-document like objects? What are your thoughts?