Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Re: Media terms for kits

Posting to RDA-L

On 13/09/2011 20:49, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:
<snip>
Thomas said:
So this would work for a kit:
336 $a text $a moving image $a spoken word
337 $a unmediated $a video $a audio
 338 $a volume $a videodisc $a audio disc
...

The problem of too long, unintelligible content terms, misuse of the term "computer" for electronic as a media type,

It's 6 of one/half dozen of the other for "computer" vs "electronic". A CD player is purchased in an "electronics" store. A toaster oven is "electronic".

If anything, it's more accurate. In most common situations, someone will need a "computer" processing intermediary device of some kind to access the content on media created explicitly for such devices. That's quite straightforward.
</snip>
I have been following this thread for awhile, and from my point of view, it is a great example of the disconnect between cataloging and the public. Of course the public does not understand what "kit" means in a catalog. They never did. Do you honestly think people understand "digital" or "electronic"? Try Googling the word "kit" and see what you get: http://www.google.com/search?q=kit. Take a look at Google Trends (the latest "hot" searches) and see which terms actually mean something that people could agree on. http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends?sa=X. The one I am looking at includes "ringer" and "build" and "als". I don't know what these terms mean since they could mean almost anything.

This is the reality of the public's everyday "universe of information". The fact is: if somebody doesn't understand something today, they don't begin to question and obsess over what it really means--they just ignore it, go on to the next one and immediately forget about anything they don't understand. Let's face it: if people obsessed over understanding everything they were looking at on the web, they could never use a full-text search. That's what I do when I see some crazy thing in a search result. I don't think: "Why am I looking at this outrageous thing? Let's see. Maybe I should email the person who is responsible...." I don't think I am alone.

The words "Kit" and "electronic resource" and "text" mean something only to librarians, to us. We should admit it. There is nothing wrong with that since we need our tools to work coherently and in a guaranteed way, but otherwise, let's not think that people place a huge amount of importance in the details of our tools when they do not.

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