Posting to RDA-L
On 04/28/2011 05:10 PM, J. McRee Elrod wrote:
But so long as we insist on Cuttering by main entry, the Chilton works will be scattered on the shelf. Finding the bibliographic records is not enough. We need to facilitate *physical* discovery. Many patrons bypass the catalogue and just browse.
Better to standardize on one entry, as opposed to departing from normal Cuttering practices, and have to deal with new items being an exception to normal practice.
How materials are placed on the shelves is primarily a local matter. It just seems to me that if current methods for shelf browsing have worked pretty well in the past, and unless there have been demonstrations and people throwing firebrands against it, which I have not heard of, I
don’t see any problem. Have there been complaints from our patrons about this? If so, those complaints should be addressed, but with no complaints, there is no problem.
Materials on related topics and by the same authors are scattered on the shelves all the time. This was one thing I have gone into deep discussions about with my students: while I think that shelf browsing is definitely the most pleasant activity in a library, or in a bookstore, it must be accepted that it is not a very good way to find the materials you really want and need. There is nothing new about this, and has been the case since the library at Alexandria. Therefore, if you rely on shelf browsing to get your information, you are guaranteed to miss a lot of materials you want. Period. End of topic.
Still, if there is evidence that there has been serious problems with the arrangement of materials on the shelves, we must deal with it. But let’s not fix things that are not broken. That is only asking for trouble.