Saturday, June 6, 2009

Use of Relator Codes (NGC4LIB)

>�William Shakespeare on The Art of Love: The Illustrated Edition of the
>�Most Beautiful Love Passages in Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry
>�(Hardcover)
>�by William Shakespeare (Author), Michael Best (Editor)
>�No customer reviews yet. Be the first.

I'll put on my management hat:
So, now the catalogers are supposed to do *more* work by separately coding each name according to that incredible list of codes? Why isn't transcribing the statement of responsibility enough? Do we really believe that people need to search, e.g. Michael Best as an author separately from an editor, separately as a censor, separately as a Writer of accompanying material, separately as a storyteller ....? See: http://www.loc.gov/marc/relators/relaterm.html

If the purpose is not so that people can search all these bibliographic identities separately, why do it? What is the justification for a manager to commit resources to it, and making all previous records semi-obsolete, not to mention the incredible complexity of determining the correct relator code for terms not found on the list, the endless debates, and we can't forget the multiplier effect for each foreign language, when the statement of responsibility is still there?

If it's just a matter of aesthetics, there may be more important areas to place our ever-shrinking resources. If we think people want to search by multiplicities of responsibilities, it needs to be shown that it's worth the effort. Anything that cuts into productivity (our number one problem) must be considered very skeptically, especially in this age of decreasing resources.

Jim Weinheimer

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