Monday, February 22, 2010

RE: [RDA-L] Question about RDA relationships (App. J)

Posting to RDA-L

Daniel CannCasciato wrote:
Hal Cain wrote:

> I wonder how far OCLC will let participants go in supplying these kinds of links:

And I agree. I am not allowed to update the pcc records at this time.

I will throw a spanner in the works here and say that in the new world of shared data, it is impossible to predict where our records will show up, how they will look, how they function, and how they will be used, so it is vital that catalogers realize that it will not be catalogers and librarians who will be the ones deciding what will happen to their records. For example, if the records continue to go into Google Books as they are now, it will be Google who decides what kind of links will be allowed, not us and not OCLC. This is an example of what many are calling "losing control." (The legal decision on opening up GBS could come this week, by the way! Hold on!)

However, I do wonder how many catalogers would agree with Karen's assertion that the library concept is that metadata is a one-time creation rather than additive. I certainly don't and have advocated for the iterative process for bibliographic and authority data. As Hal identified later in his message, the "core record" is meant to be a dynamic one. The fact that the practice as yet isn't supported (logistically and administratively) is fundamental problem for users. Some library administrators, for example, tend to view the iterative process as "tweaking" and needless, rather than inherently required. David Bade's work (and the work of others) certainly gives a strong argument for exploiting language, scholarly, and subject expertise when we can. I hope the iterative process becomes more acceptable regardless of which environment one is working from or in.

But in this new world, other information will be included. Look at the popularity of LibraryThing, which works quite differently. Here is a random record:

I think these views are some of what we need to be studying. This does not mean that we simply imitate LibraryThing or GBS, but we need to learn from their successes. The idea of a "do it once, do it right, forget it" vs. "tweaking" doesn't make a lot of sense in a world that mashes records together and are open to general collaboration with the world. We should remember that many more people are using LibraryThing than WorldCat, obviously because it fulfills their needs better. (Librarything) (WorldCat)

Libraries and their metadata need to become a meaningful part of this bigger universe of metadata. But to do this, we need to rid ourselves of a lot of the old assumptions.

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