Wednesday, August 4, 2010

RE: [RDA-L] Cataloging Podcast

Posting to RDA-L

Diane I. Hillmann wrote:

<snip>
Jonathan,

I think you're right about this, and I think the general habit of looking at RDA primarily as a set of cataloging rules leads to this mode
of thinking.
</snip>

On 8/4/10 10:00 AM, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:

<snip>
I would not assume that. One way that the digital world is quite different than the printed world is that in the digital world, we present our metadata _in a digital environment_. Even our displays of records for printed materials are presented to users on computer screens.

Most of our metadata control practices were created for generating printed cards.

Personally, I think the changes required for metadata that will live in the digital world are even more difficult and a greater conceptual break than any changes required to describe digital items.
</snip>

So I still do not understand why we have to have new rules (or new rule numbers) for determining and inputting the title of a book? What has changed? What was so bad about the previous rules that they needed complete refreshing? I don't think I can be accused of being a Luddite; but someone needs to see/understand the title of a book whether it is on a card or a computer display. That title, because it is on a physical item stored somewhere, will never change, therefore, the title recorded in the catalog record will never need to change.

For digital/virtual items that change all the time, all these considerations must be thrown out the window. It would be fine to say that for these materials, we have completely different rules, practices and even approaches, just as there are for manuscripts. I could understand that. I think Diane's RDF work may be very useful in the future.

But the way we catalog an electronic item should not impact how we catalog a physical item. That doesn't make sense, unless the idea is that we must shoehorn everything into an FRBR world where everything has all those extra records for works, expressions and so on. That is an unwarranted assumption, I believe. The model was never tested for conformance to reality, for practical considerations, or for value to our users.

Bernhard pointed out the areas where changes are needed and I think that would be a great starting point.

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