Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Re: [RDA-L] Offlist reactions to the LC Bibliographic Framework statement

Posting to RDA-L

On 08/11/2011 22:15, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
<snip>
Kind of off topic, but curious why you don't think relator codes are the right thing to do. If we're listing 3 or 5 or 10 people or entities 'responsible' for an artistic work, why wouldn't we want to be able to say the nature/role of each entities responsibility?  Or, if we do, but relator codes are a poor device for this, why?
</snip>

I answered this in another posting that can be found here http://catalogingmatters.blogspot.com/2011/03/re-question-about-rda-title.html

While I have nothing against the relator codes *in theory* I think there are serious practical barriers. Entering the relator codes entails additional work for catalogers and some will not be so simple, but more important, there is the serious problem of legacy data. If catalogers had been adding the relator codes all along, that would be one thing, but the decision was made back then not to add them. We must admit that those records will not be updated. 

Therefore, when looking at the situation from the *patron's point of view*, they will still--always--have to check and recheck every single citation generated from a library catalog because there may be editors, compilers and others who must be cited as such. I see this leading to tremendous confusion and anger. Remember, these are the same people who are not supposed to be able to understand abbreviations such as "p." and "et al." (except in citations, of course!). 

I don't think it is wise to promise more than we can deliver.

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