Thursday, February 16, 2012

Re: RDA as the collaboratively created way forward[?]; was Is RDA the Only Way? An Alternative Option Through International Cooperation



Posting to RDA-L

On 15/02/2012 18:06, Karen Coyle wrote:
<snip>
Jim, is it all of FRBR that you see as problematic, or just WEMI? It seems to me that Groups 2 and 3 are equivalent (more or less, but mainly more) to what we have today as name and subject authority files. Do you find those unworkable? Would you feel differently about it if FRBR Group 1 was structured differently? Or is it mainly the user tasks that you find inadequate/unworkable?

There is so much to FRBR that it seems best to be specific about what the perceived problems are. I, too, have doubts about some aspects of FRBR, but am wondering if it cannot be "fixed" through some adjustments of the model.
</snip>
I think my own opinions on this will become clearer with the paper I gave at Oslo, and I plan to post on Monday. "Fixing" to me is more or less beside the point. It is the assumption that people need FRBR so desperately that is the problem. What we need to do is provide the public with something that fulfills their needs and not ours. Our current catalogs already fulfill our needs so we really do not need something else. Rather, what does the public need?

Yes, figuring that out will demand a lot of work but if we don't figure it out, we will just be building more--and more expensive!--tools that the public still does not want.

Maybe somebody wants to demonstrate that the public genuinely wants to be able to do the FRBR user tasks so badly, and in preference to lots of other options, that we need to spend all this money and devote all these resources, diverting money from staff and acquisitions to achieve it. I remain skeptical, but fine. Demonstrate it. Simply assuming something like that is just too much to ask.

But that is called making a business case.

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