Friday, March 9, 2012

Re: RDA Implementation Date Set

Posting to Autocat

On 08/03/2012 22:12, Aaron Kuperman wrote:
<snip>
I am adding two "caveats" not mentioned in the official announcement. First, RDA records are already being produced, and really it is not the first day of RDA that is being announced, but the last day of AACR2. Second, and quite "heretically" (from my boss's perspectives, I think), it is only a preliminary implementation since the real implementation will be when a FRBRized post-MARC format is adopted. However unless everyone understands FRBRization, RDA makes very little sense. If one sees the problems that FRBR is addressing, particularly (in my opinion) due to changes in publication patterns, the RDA is a solution to a real problem.
</snip>

Of course, if someone does not agree with FRBR, then it is a problem with their "understanding" of FRBR. It simply cannot be that FRBR does not provide what the public needs OR that these same FRBR aims cannot be achieved through other, cheaper and more effective methods. Once again, we see the implicit assumption that if everyone understands, then agreement will automatically follow. When there is no agreement, there must be a problem with someone's understanding.

This is completely faulty reasoning. It is not a matter of a lack of understanding. People understand it and it still doesn't make sense. The final product must be made clear if they are to devote massive resources to it. Yet again, the pro-RDA group does not feel they have to make a business case and everyone is supposed to believe they have no alternative except to march forward in lock-step.

The simple fact is, RDA is not any solution to any real problem. The LC/NAL/NLM report says as much. RDA is a step toward FRBR, that is clear. Therefore, the real question is: is FRBR needed for the patrons or is it just another vague promise? That question has been asked and remained unanswered for going on 10 years or so now.

But I guess that when it comes to library cataloging, we should not expect a valid business case. It must all reside in some separate plane of existence somewhere.

My own suggestion: people should follow the advice for survival given here http://scientificcuriosity.blogspot.com/2006/12/why-we-should-always-question.html. Click on the cartoon.

Gary Larson could always sum up such matters very well!

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