Posting to Autocat
On 29/03/2012 21:15, Aaron Kuperman wrote:
If an when a post-MARC (or thoroughly rewritten MARC) format supports the FRBR WEMI structure, the changes will have meaning. Right now, we have very limited capacities to link online resources with library resources, or we are doing a poor job at describing the diverse formats now in existence (book exists in hard copy, or as a ebook readable only from within the library’s firewall, and is connected to a publisher website, and is connected to an author’s blog, and is connected to various student/fan websites, not to mention a variety of printed and electronic versions of the text). Addressing 20st century publication patterns with AACR/MARC is hopeless. RDA/MARC is probably no better. RDA combined with a new FRBR post-MARC format is a solution. We do have a problem. RDA is the first step of the solution. And we will need a lot of patience and hope that the rest of the solution is going to arrive. The need for patience and hope is the real issue we need to discuss.
Once again, this assumes that FRBR structures provide what the *patrons* want, and this has never, ever been demonstrated. It is simply assumed. I will state, once again, that sometimes, people do want to find different versions of specific works and expressions, but never mind: modern catalogs allow this *right now* without the need for the FRBR structures. They do this by using methods never dreamt of by people probably only 15 or so years ago (when FRBR came out). Technology is changing that fast! What will it be 10 years from now? If we stay focused on the 19th century structures as outlined by FRBR, where will we be in 10 years? As a consequence, FRBR absolutely should be rethought completely, but it is not.
As a result, we remain with vague promises and protestations not to lose the faith–that things will work out in the fullness of time. That we should believe that those in control really do know what they are doing and what will happen in the future. Of course, the simple fact is, *nobody* knows. Nobody. At this point in time, we should not have faith that anybody knows what the future will bring.
I understand that those who believe will say that we should have patience and hope, but this is happening at the same time that libraries and librarians are being cut to the bone.
All of this just seems to me to emphasize the inability to make a rational business case for RDA, which has not yet been done, as was stated in the report from LC/NLA/NLM.