Posting to NGC4LIB
Bernhard Eversberg wrote:
Correct. But exactly “what is needed” is what we still don’t know or can’t pin down. And I think there will not be one easy answer but any community, no, any one person needs something ever so slightly different and something else the next time. So, our data model needs to support exports in many flavors and dressings.
But now, the mighty RDA toolkit is out. Go and look if it might get us closer to solutions, based on the FRBR data model as it is. But don’t forget there are gigatons of legacy data.
This is exactly the problem. We have tons of metadata made over many decades (if not more) that–at least I believe–will definitely prove useful in this new environment, but we don’t know exactly *how* it will be useful. We do know however, that in the current format (in various senses of this word), what we have will definitely *not* be useful outside our own library world, and we must assume that fewer people will be visiting our world.
The FRBR data model is already an anachronism and has never been tested. I find it amazing that FRBR makes this incredible statement that people want to “find / identify / select / obtain –> works / expressions / manifestations / items –> by their authors / titles / subjects” which we absolutely *know* is wrong! That describes how the card catalog worked–even in the OPAC, keyword searching quickly became the dominant search. Does anybody really do this anymore? Once in a very great while I do when I am searching for a specific edition of, e.g. Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, but in addition to keyword searching, there is this thing called “Google” and “relevance ranking” that has come around in the last 20 years or so…
I certainly cannot imagine that RDA/FRBR changes will interest anybody in our data, and after looking at some of Karen’s attempts, I suspect it isn’t even a valid data model for our present records. (Is there really such a thing as an “expression” or even a “work”? This has turned out to be far more difficult in reality than we thought, or what I thought, anyway! Perhaps the work and expression as simple collating points for a card/printed catalog, are not “entities” with lots of “attributes” but something else entirely)
In any case, one of the most basic business practices of new product development has never been tried, at least not to my knowledge: does our projected product (i.e. FRBR displays) fulfill our patrons’ needs? Or a significant number of their needs? I haven’t seen anything that deals with this. From my own experience with users, and my own searching patterns, I can’t imagine that anybody would look at these displays and say, “Yes!! That is what has always been missing!!”
But it seems as if the library world is doomed to continue onward toward spending its limited resources to create an untested product and train staff to create that untested product that, quite probably, nobody wants.
Again, I want to mention that there is a choice: The Cooperative Cataloging Rules at: http://sites.google.com/site/opencatalogingrules/