Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Re: Announcing the LC/NAL/NLM RDA Implementation decision

Posting to Autocat

On 15/06/2011 21:44, Brian Briscoe wrote:
<snip>
As one who has been very critical and vocal of RDA, I now throw my support behind the process to make it the tool that it is aiming to be.

I agree with Allen and Larry Creider (a separate post) that the joint implementation announcement shows great thought and consideration for the dialogue that has been going on in the rest of catalogerdom, as well as here.

Let us make reasonable suggestions to repair RDA's current shortcomings and to make the Toolkit a usable resource.
</snip>
I feel that I must fulfill my normal "walk-on" function as the hammer-wielding anarchist! :-)

My own idea is that it is unimportant whether we enact RDA or not; what is important is whether what we create will be more useful to our patrons *and* make ourselves more relevant in this new information  environment (even though it really isn't so new anymore). It is my fear that with all of the digitized materials on the internet, some of it absolutely wonderful, plus the economic problems that are forcing
administrators to make very difficult decisions, it could turn out to be the double whammy that could set back the case of libraries by decades, if not further.

It is completely 100% vital that whatever we create will be seen *by our patrons* as a major and substantial step forward, and this has been my major criticism of RDA: nobody has done much, if any, research to find out if what RDA creates has any genuine relevance to what they need. This is more than asking a few users if they like the way some records look. At the same time, this deep and indepth research is being undertaken now by organizations with vast amounts of information at their disposal, such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other information organizations, that are very serious at trying to build tools that people will find appealing.

So, to me the very first step for RDA is to come up with a very clear business plan, one part of which will show what people perceive as lacking in our current tools, and lay out how the final product (RDA) will appeal *to our users*, plus be realistically achievable financially, and from the amount of resources we will be able to throw at it. Of course, they must also say why our current methods and records cannot do something comparable.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very quick comment, and I must say I'm still working my way through the cover statement, summary, and report. So, I know I am, somewhat, commenting on other's comments (even a Tweet?!) There have been a variety of interpretations of the recommendation. I got stuck on the disclaimer that it appears since so much work has gone into RDA, let’s do some more (my wording)! In the meantime, though, I wonder about finding the time and talent to actually make our metadata available to harvest and share; what about the RDA records already in WorldCat; what about our ILS display and indexing? While I am relieved there isn't a recommendation to implement tomorrow, I see the recommendation to continue with RDA as unsettling.

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