Blog posting at Metadata, cataloging, & various librarian-like stuff concerning Why RDA?
I completely agree with this, and I have still not found any adequate replies either. Naturally, the practice of cataloging and the catalogs themselves must change, but not in the sense of changing the cataloging rules. Does anybody out there *really believe* that it will make one iota of difference to any of our patrons if we use 336,7,8 fields instead of 245$h, or spell out abbreviations (!?), or change the rule of 3? In this last case, people may notice that the number of new records is going down because of the additional authority work catalogers will have to do.
There are definite arguments to not go with RDA however: splitting the library world and their records at a very inopportune moment; possibly squandering the remaining good-will of librarianship by promising “new and wonderful” possibilities that RDA will allow so that the upper echelons will pay for the retraining, etc. and then *nobody notices anything different at all*. These would be serious consequences.
Much of this reminds me of times in my own life when I *really haven’t wanted* to begin some highly important task that I know will be stressful and difficult, and I find myself doing other things that I’ve been putting off for years, such as clearing out the closets, or cleaning behind book shelves or something. Suddenly, I think: “What am I doing? I’ve got to start in on this task!” By doing these other tasks, I have realized that I am just putting off the inevitable.
I suspect what we are going through with RDA is similar: there are deep and massive changes catalogs and catalogers must undertake, and instead of starting in, they concern themselves with abbreviations and other trivial points of no real concern.