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 14/02/2012 22:17, Kevin M Randall wrote:

Okay, I get it now. The question as it was originally asked by the user doesn’t reflect a typical kind of thing users are looking for. When they say they’re looking for a book, they’re not really looking for a book. Users are only looking for minute pieces of information that can only be found through web search engines that mine the full text. It seems that I (and everyone else that I know personally) must be living in a very different world from yours. FRBR is intended to make our *library bibliographic data* more useful. Applying FRBR to library bibliographic data is in absolutely no way intended as a replacement for any other kind of research tools or methodologies. FRBR doesn’t try to say we’ll never have need to find information in other places than the library catalog. But just because FRBR doesn’t make the catalog the end-all/be-all of information retrieval doesn’t mean it’s therefore pointless.

So, reference questions must fall into certain specific guidelines to be considered a “typical kind of thing users are looking for”? Wow! Quite a statement. You may be interested in another posting I made about a reference question about Wikileaks I found these questions incredibly typical.

I have never, ever, ever said that our bibliographic records are pointless. The focus on FRBR wastes our resources since we are going in the wrong direction. Our catalogs can do the FRBR user tasks right now, and they have been for over a hundred years. That has been their entire purpose. With catalog indexing found in Worldcat and Koha (as I mentioned in an earlier post), achieving the FRBR user tasks is easier than ever before. So, if the goal is to get the FRBR user tasks, it has already been solved. Let’s declare victory and move on to more vital, and interesting, tasks.

The information universe is changing with incredible speed and the general populace has hundreds of times more experience with Google type tools than ours. It is up for us to fit into that world, since they will never stop for us. There are a huge number of ideas we could do to try to make our records more useful to the populace than FRBR and RDA. But I have discussed this too many times already.