Friday, September 3, 2010

RE: Time and effort

Posting to RDA-L
Kelleher, Martin wrote:

<snip>
People like Google searches, but only when they work well....

[and]

But the "Google effect", myth or no myth, continues to be used as an excuse to, well, not bother, at the end of the day, based on the dream that keyword is king - whereas a better way of looking at it would probably be it's a particularly popular fruit, even if people get sick of all the pips.... But still end up buying because it's the only one that's sold in all the shops, or even because they don't know there are so many other fruits......
</snip>
I completely agree with this, but I don't know if most non-librarians and/or non-catalogers do. People *really do* like Google, and they even *trust* Google! I also have run across the idea among many people who believe that even if Google isn't perfect today, everyone will see significant improvements tomorrow (and this is undeniable), and it is far more worthwhile to devote resources toward improving full-text retrieval than jazzing up our "horses and buggies".

Naturally, we need change, but more importantly, we need change for the better, and one way of changing for the better is to figure out how to merge the best of what we do with the best of the new tools so as to make something that truly is far more powerful than ever before. There is no reason not to acknowledge, understand and take advantage of the power of all the tools out there. If something like this were the goal, I would have much less against big changes in cataloging rules and procedures.

In this vein I ask: is the power of the traditional tools we make *really* in the FRBR tasks? Or is it something else?

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