Saturday, October 13, 2012

Re: [ACAT] Hebrew Bible and Old Testament

Posting to Autocat

On 12/10/2012 03:37, Michael Kovnat wrote:
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That is exactly what I had already figured out; I encountered at least one PCC record in my practicum in cataloging last May-June, learned what PCC is, and I believe there was something I wanted to edit or change and I learned that I could derive a new record for local use only from this record but I couldn't make changes to the record in OCLC, so I decided that the program in cooperative cataloging should not exist and I said so in my practicum journal which I turned in for credit.
</snip>

An interesting reaction: because a record can't be changed easily, the PCC should not exist. Of course, there could be other solutions, such as improving the situation.

One area for possible improvement is the idea, for better or worse, of the "master record" in OCLC. This is not the case in all cataloging systems, such as RLIN, where records came up in clusters and you could choose the one you wanted, or not choose the ones you didn't want. Everybody in RLIN had their favorite libraries and their most hated libraries.

But yet the real problem, in my own opinion, is how to maintain standards, and this becomes especially difficult to do with decreasing resources when people are being told to do more with less. It's hard to say if this example of "Hebrew Bible" reflects the cataloger not understanding the subject matter, not understanding how to find the right heading, is in too much of a hurry because of being flooded with tons of work, or simply doesn't care.

I did a podcast about standards "Standards, Perfection, and Good Enough" http://blog.jweinheimer.net/2011/04/cataloging-matters-podcast-no-9.html and about how library-bibliographic standards are fundamentally different from other standards in society, such as for food and water.

In my own opinion, the solution is not to throw out the PCC but rather improve it. In many ways, I think the question of standards is the most important one facing cataloging today. But improving the standards is much easier said than done, as I discuss in my podcast.

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