Friday, April 30, 2010

RE: fairies and subdivision

Posting to AUTOCAT

On Thu, 29 Apr 2010 12:18:54 -0400, William TB Fee wrote:

You make some interesting points, but I don't know if they are worth the costs of changing, see below:

>Two reasons I can think of for a change from 650 to 600. The first, which I have already named, is that the NACO folks, those who already do name authorities, would also be able to do authorities for fictional names as well.

I see this more as a problem of changing inadequate workflows and changing responsibilities, and not one of MARC format and cataloging rules. The NACO/SACO divide has always seemed artificial to me, but while the problem you mention is certainly a problem, it is only indicative of another, wider problem of the need to increase productivity, which needs to be addressed.

Still, anything we can do to improve workflow and productivity would be an improvement, so if it can be shown the changing these 650s to 600s would mean enough of an increase in productive to offset the maintenance, this is a possible reason to adopt it. But, it is still a stop-gap.

>Secondly, by coding as a 600, there are extra sub-fields that become available. ‡g Miscellaneous information, ‡c Titles and other words associated with a name, ‡q Fuller form of name and ‡b Numeration (useful for fictional heroes who have had many "real names").

This I agree with less. Are we going to start doing:
600 1\ $aTarzan,$cKing of the Jungle,$d1912-
and
600 1\ $aJane,$cconsort of Tarzan, King of the Jungle,$d1912-
and
600 1\ $aBoy,$cheir-apparent of Tarzan, King of the Jungle,$d1913-
although he could be "dauphin."
(dates from Wikipedia)

Of course, I'm just joking, but there are those out there who take these sorts of things seriously and therefore, force us to do so as well. If these would become 600s, do we really think there will not be pressure to change groups of them to corporate bodies? It would be logical after all, and failure to do so would be illogical! So now we have to work on, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Justice League of America. Will we then have to scour every nook and cranny for official publications of these bodies?

As I have said: cataloging is facing very serious problems today and those problems must be addressed. These problems do not lie in cosmetics. They lie in adapting to fundamental changes in technology, but more importantly, to basic changes in what the public wants and expects from information, and how they interact with it. Sooner or later, we are going to have to face up to these changes or risk becoming obsolete and irrelevant. If someone can point to a problem of access and/or comprehension of a record, then consider changing *anything*, by all means. If someone can show that our public is having problems finding Tarzan or Jane or Bullwinkle, we must discover the problem and find a solution. Changing 650s to 600s would change nothing at all for our users in this case, but I'm not overly worried about it because I haven't heard of anybody complaining that they couldn't find Betty Boop. What I am worried about is what I I have heard from my students, who include those who come here from all over the U.S. and other
places in the world: they don't understand even the concept of searching by author, title or subject. They only know Google's single box. *This* is a real problem to deal with.

So, if someone can demonstrate genuine problems--primarily among our users--concerning lack of access or genuine comprehension of the records, that is a problem; otherwise:

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

No comments:

Post a Comment