Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Re: RDA Implementation Date Set

Posting to Autocat

On 14/03/2012 13:52, Aaron Kuperman wrote:
<snip>
If the public doesn't want this new conceptual basis, the public should stick to buying printed books. AACR2 and MARC work very well with all the technology available in the mid-20th century, it's all this 21st century stuff that is causing problems. Done properly, a FRBRized system will be better able to handle current and future publishing patterns. --Aaron
</snip>
That is a statement of faith in the utility of FRBR to the public. It has still never been demonstrated.

While I am the first to agree that our catalogs have to change, our formats and all, I don't see how RDA or FRBR address any of the problems we are facing. One example that I have not talked about for awhile are some of the practical concerns of cataloging websites. Websites aren't any harder to catalog than anything else. OK, it is harder to "examine" the website since you don't know exactly where it starts and ends like you do with a DVD or bookset or map or something physical, but maybe we can deal with that part. What is really awful is the maintenance. Titles change, locations change, major edits are made, people come and go, and there is absolutely no notification to libraries when anything changes. A record I make this morning may be obsolete this afternoon.

So, let's talk about how to handle this every-day situation. And let's come up with something more useful to everyone than that tragic note, which is of interest to no one and whose sole purpose is to soothe the conscience of the cataloger: "Title from home page, cataloged Dec. 2, 1997", when the link doesn't work, you can't find the title in Google or Yahoo, you can't find anything. That cataloger's note is one of the saddest sighs of despair I have ever seen.

The real problems facing libraries are not cataloging rules, and the solutions are not more or different cataloging rules. The problems are different. Libraries have very powerful competitors today, and people are getting more and more interested in Google Books--for better or worse. So, here is an interesting article http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/11/inside-the-google-books-algorithm/65422/. Google really is trying to find out what people want, and if they find out, I have no doubt they will try to give it to them in the most attractive, even fun ways they possibly can.

I wrote a comment to a blog post that people may find interesting. http://simetadata.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/rda-not-everyone-is-a-fan/

No comments:

Post a Comment