Posting to Autocat
On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 09:37:00 -0400, Williams, Ann wrote:
>I posted months (years?) ago about needing more information on catalog records such as additional subjects and suggested even adding subjects for chapters. I think when I posted this before, someone objected commenting to the effect that why not trace the whole index. Well, look at what Google books does: does having everything including the text be searchable hurt the patron searching for items, or help him/her? Sure many of our fields and our controlled vacabulary are missing, but is the tradeoff worth it? What If Google decided to add some of our fields (subjects, genre) and authority records for authors? I believe in enhancing OCLC records, but is what I’m doing enough for patrons? Will they recognize the record as relevant if only a small part of the content is? Is there any investment a library can make in a self-designed OPAC that will end up in engaging users more than Google and its like?
You have been asking some great questions as to the realities of what we are facing. A comparison of our records to Google Books is enlightening, and depressing. Take a look at the record for this book in worldcat http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/62127840 and compare it to the metadata page in google books http://books.google.com/books?id=bWEV__6BYPgC which has a huge variety of information, plus you can search the full text, and maybe in a few months depending on the judge, even see the full text. Go through the whole thing, since it takes awhile.
Which would you choose? If you were at the reference desk, which would you recommend? Google doesn’t give a d*** about RDA, FRBR, or anybody’s theories. Google is interested in constantly improving the user’s experience. I just noticed they added the automatic citations at the bottom. Nice touch. The Google record is a great example of metadata and how it can be brought together to make something that never existed before and is better.
And yet, we keep insisting on the FRBR user tasks as to what people *really* want, insisting so much that we will change everything we do to achieve those tasks, and of course we shouldn’t forget that people can do those tasks in the catalog right now! Does this make sense?
This brings to mind the story we all know, probably apocryphal, of Nero fiddling while Rome burned…..