Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Re: [ACAT] Advance Notice: Phase 1 of the PCCAHITG Phased Implentation of RDA to begin soon

Posting to Autocat

On 17/07/2012 17:25, McDonald, Stephen wrote:
<snip>
The only thing that will happen in Phase I is that records which are _not_ RDA compatible and _cannot_ be made more RDA compatible through automated processes will be marked with a 667 field saying so. No changes will be made to any access points, so this will not actually require authority maintenance. The purpose is to mark records which will need manual conversion.

After Phase I is completed, qualified NACO participants can start converting individual records from AACR2 to RDA forms. This will be low volume until Phase II.

Phase II is when changes will happen in a big way, and as you have noted, it will be a lot of work for everyone who wants to keep up. This is when the automated scripts will run, converting a large portion of the records which are not RDA compatible. This will happen as close to DAY 1 of PCC RDA implementation as possible (March 31, 2013, if I recall correctly).

After that, there will be slow cleanup of all the records that still need manual conversion work.
</snip>
I can't hold myself back. When all of the heading changes took place when AACR2 was implemented, at least there was the very practical reasoning that everyone in the Anglo-American world would be using the same forms of names. This built logically on the advances of AACR1, which brought the descriptions into alignment, and then AACR2 brought the name headings into alignment. This meant an incredible amount of cleanup for everyone but the goal was very clear: ultimately to reduce the amount of labor because if everybody followed the standards, the name headings on a record produced in e.g. Australia, could be used with no edits in the UK, US or Canada. Many people still thought it wasn't worth the effort but the advantages were clear. With AACR3/RDA, it would seem logical to try to bring the information into much more accord internationally, but using URIs for name and even subject headings.

But no. The changes in RDA are all theoretical. There is absolutely zero evidence that it will increase the amount of usable copy, as happened with AACR2, or that people will be able to find resources more easily than they can now. All of that is just tacitly assumed. And this added labor for cleanup, which will go on for some time, will be at the expense of .... what? Different libraries will decide for themselves which services and/or staff to cut.

And the greatest irony: the public will still be looking at the same old catalog interfaces they've never really understood.

Why is everybody going through these motions? Or has someone already proved that the public really wants RDA and I've missed it?

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