Posting to RDA-L
On 23/01/2013 08:41, Moore, Richard wrote:
I recognise your characterisation of cataloguers. For years our struggle, if you can call it that, has been to persuade cataloguers to do only what is required, in order to get the throughput, while they have persistently done more – whether providing extra access points, or re-measuring books for which we already have derived records, or aligning name headings on our catalogue when not required to (in the last case we poached the person for the authority control team). Does anyone here have cataloguers who are different?
Characterising the absence of “rules of three” in RDA as “rules of one” is simply wrong. It also discounts the fact that institutions generally have policies on this kind of thing. There is no “rule of one” in RDA. RDA allows cataloguers to do more, and when given the chance cataloguers generally do. As an example where authority records are concerned, we’ve had to write guidance to advise our staff that they don’t have to copy the entire contents of a LinkedIn page to the 37X fields, which some were doing with glee.
Now I’ve said that, I’ll take the opportunity again for an off-topic plug of the BL Guide to RDA Name Authority Records, in Global Workflows in the RDA Toolkit, which contains this and other sage advice.
Yes, for decades, if not longer, when catalogers have seen a book with eight authors and 10 corporate bodies, they shook their heads sadly and thought: “How I wish I were free to add all of these! But tragically, the rules allow me to do only one of each.” They didn’t really think: “I am totally snowed under by all of these materials waiting on these shelves and there’s more in the hold. And there are fewer catalogers than ever expected to do more and more. Thank God this book has eight authors and ten corporate bodies, I only have to do one of each. That will help me move the books through and make my supervisors happy.”
Also, from this discussion there seems to be genuine agreement that when there is more than a single entity responsible for a resource, it is incorrect to add only a single tracing. (I only care about Laurel. Forget about Hardy. Masters is the only important one. Nobody is interested in Johnson)
The attitude that one is not enough is a positive development, but if that is true, why allow it in the first place? The logic escapes me and I am sure that such a decision was never run by the public, and probably not even the reference librarians. I can’t imagine that they would like it. Reference librarians certainly do not share any idealistic visions of catalogers, their inner motivations, and their records.
The discussion about transcribing the statement of responsibility is irrelevant in my opinion–statements of responsibility are about identification of a resource, not access. The real work is creating and adding the headings. Also, with the ability to copy and paste, it may actually be less work to “transcribe” a long SR by copying and pasting than deleting parts of it and adding [et al.] or whatever people are going to add today.
I guess I can make a plug too, to my podcast on Standards: http://blog.jweinheimer.net/2011/04/cataloging-matters-podcast-no-9-standards-perfection-and-good-enough.html