Re: [RDA-L] When part of 245 comes from outside resource

Posting to RDA-L

On 10/01/2013 19:02, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:

Okay, here’s what I think is a strange idea implicit in the arguments many keep making including you:

That if a _searcher_ doesn’t want to see something, it should not be in the record. That a record is for _showing to a searcher_.

This leads you to question RDA based on “very strange RDA “spirit” that the searchers of our catalogs want to know and understand everything they see in them.”

But what RDA does instead is get away from the idea that a record is ‘copy’ to use directly to print cataloging cards to show to the user.

A record is _data_ for our software, that’s what bibliographic records are _for_ now.

They need to include all sorts of things not because “a searcher” will want to see them as-is, but becuase _we_ will want to see them, or more to the point, because our software will want/need to operate upon these things in order to produce the functionality that our users _do_ want.

That RDA attempts (whether succesfully or not) to get away from the “records as copy to put directly in front of users” model is not strange — it’s required for these records to have any value at all in a digital world. What’s strange is contrarily insisting on sticking to a conception of bibliographic records as “copy for searchers” that is 30 years out of date.

So, are you saying that a general note that says the author’s name does not come from the chief source of information is data? How? Or how do we turn that into data? Are you proposing special codes for it? Or is there this idea that nobody (including the librarians) needs to know where the author’s name comes from? If that last is the idea, which is the “spirit” of RDA, it should certainly not be done without research laying out the consequences to the users of the catalog, including the librarians. I don’t think too many selectors would agree, and I applaud the catalogers’ professionalism.

I don’t think it’s such a strange idea to a cataloger that there are different possible views of a record depending on who you happen to be. They see it every day. Every cataloger works at least with the MARC format where they see lots of things that they do not see in the OPAC, and where the record looks totally different. This has been going on for a few decades now. So, our records include lots of information right now only because we want to see it and the public doesn’t need it. Catalogers work with it every day.

I cannot see how putting in brackets or leaving them out harms the user in any tangible way, or even harms the “data” held within. But it can definitely have an impact on the work of the cataloger, the selectors, on reference and ILL. But if it presents such a difficulty, which I don’t think can be demonstrated, then somebody can write a script so that it won’t display to the public. I can probably write the script myself.

On the other hand, if it really is unimportant information and can be discarded, that can be debated–definitely NOT among catalogers only, but among all the users of the catalog. Doing these kinds of things unilaterally is what gives the cataloging profession a bad name.

As this and other discussions show, RDA is mostly irrelevant to the challenges facing cataloging and libraries today. But people feel it is a juggernaut.