Friday, March 16, 2012

Re: [ACAT] RDA Implementation Date Set

Posting to Autocat

On 15/03/2012 20:00, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:
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Typical RDA authority record being created today:

046    ‡f19350108‡g19770816
053  0 ‡aML420.P96‡cBiography
100 1  ‡aPresley, Elvis,‡d1935-1977
370    ‡aTupelo, Miss.‡bMemphis, Tenn.
371    ‡aGraceland, 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard (Highway 51 South)‡bMemphis‡cTenn.
374    ‡aAmerican rock and roll singer‡aguitarist‡aactor‡s1955‡t1977
375    ‡amale
400 1  ‡aPresley, Elvis Aron,‡d1935-1977
400 1  ‡aCrow, John,‡d1935-1977

Many of these new RDA elements (which are now pouring in with new and updated authority records-- RDA has already been implemented for many fields in authority records if not bibliographic records) are the types of elements used in disambiguating services as seen in Wikipedia or IMDB. One has to have the data, and data in the right form (see field 046 for dates) to make the new applications, and retrospectively adding data is quite feasible in many cases, as seen in the just posted PCC documents on RDA and authority records: http://files.library.northwestern.edu/public/pccahitg/index.html
</snip>
This is a great example of what I think is a truly missed opportunity. Does anybody really and truly believe that it is the best use of diminishing cataloger resources to rework this kind of information into the authority records we already have, or should we spend our time working on new resources? What would our patrons prefer?

Personally, I believe that if people want this kind of information, they should learn that a library catalog is definitely not the tool to use and never has been, much as you shouldn't use a screwdriver as a chisel, but for the sake of argument, let's say that we will include this information. We can either do it in the 19th-century way, updating everything manually line by line, record by record, although the same information exists in different databases online, or we could do it in a smarter, 21st-century way, using the power of our systems, not by duplicating labor already done, but by bringing together (among other sites) dbpedia.org  http://dbpedia.org/page/Elvis_Presley and MusikBrainz http://musicbrainz.org/artist/01809552-4f87-45b0-afff-2c6f0730a3be/relationships and other things. They are both supposed to be in Linked Data. (angel choir!) So, if catalogers are manually updating the records that are "pouring in", it is truly a tremendous waste of cataloging resources!

So, how can we get all of this information to work together, possibly to build a brand new, cooperative tool?

I must say that it has relatively little to do with catalogers, and much more to do with systems people, and all that is needed is new formats, absolutely not new rules.

By the way, I looked at the MusicBrainz page and that page claims that Elvis had "relationships" with Tuesday Weld and Ann Margaret. That is impressive, but I believe there were probably more! Maybe that will be one of the future jobs for a cataloger: to complete those kinds of lists. :-)

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