Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fwd: Re: [ACAT] RDA cataloging or how to miss the forest for the trees

Posting to Autocat
On Apr 21, 2012 10:11 PM, "Shawne Miksa" wrote:
Mac said:
We find ISBD/AACR2/MARC21 adequate for "assigning metadata to describe resources". Much less than 25% of our work is cataloguing print materials.
See, this is one of the most fundamental problems--"We". It is not about we/you/our. It's about the users and what they need. It doesn't matters what percentage one format makes up. It's not about format at all, other than to provide description for purposes of identification by the user.

You'll probably say you are very much in tune with the user, but with all due respect, Mac, and others, I don't buy it.
The fact is, there is absolutely zero evidence that RDA or FRBR provide what the users (public, patrons) want. That is the biggest problem. The so-called "user tasks" apply only to a small percentage of the searches of a small percentage of the populace. There would be no problem even in accepting this assumption if it were all theoretical, i.e. It had no consequences on the lives and careers of individuals.

But it will have severe consequences and there again is absolutely zero concern about the consequences of libraries spending money and devoting resources they do not have to achieve something that nobody wants. To disprove this would require a business case, which is something RDA and FRBR have very definitely decided *not* to do.

So let's not say that the users need RDA or FRBR, that is until some evidence is shown. It is clear that other factors are at work.

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