RE: Thank you for an excellent day of RDA discussions!

Posting to alcts-eforum concerning the forum: Preparing your library for RDA


I have been following this excellent discussion as closely as possible. It has obviously proved to be a very interesting topic for librarians! The responses as to how individual libraries plan to deal with the implementation of RDA and I have learned a lot, so I want to thank the moderators! I particularly like the practical questions people raise as to productivity and workflow. It goes without saying that these areas will be hit, but there is still no real indication what the real consequences will be. I have read vague promises that productivity will increase, but I have never seen any ideas as to exactly how or why it should: I don’t believe anyone could say that RDA is any simpler; at its best it will probably be just as easy, or as difficult, as AACR2, but I have found it pretty tough. Yet, we are supposed to simply have faith that it is a step into the future.

It is interesting that Tom Hickey did research on WorldCat and discovered that over 80% of the records reflect only a single manifestation, and therefore, FRBR really applies to less than 20% of what is out there.

(By the way, the original site seems to have disappeared, and I can only find citations to it, with broken links, e.g. p. 8 of Barbara Tillet’s “What is FRBR?” where we find:

Hickey, Thomas; & Vizine-Goetz, Diane. Implementing FRBR on large databases [online]. [Dublin, Ohio]: [OCLC], 2002 [cited 31 December 2002]. Available from:  files/frame.htm

Trying to find this reminded me of looking for Aristotle’s lost book on comedy, as we see in Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose”!)

In any case, RDA and FRBR seem to be a strange adaptation of Pareto’s 80-20 rule, where we are building tools aimed primarily at the part that is less than 20%!

For those who are interested, I would like to point out the possibility of the Cooperative Cataloging Rules at