On 10/04/2013 16:31, Billie Hackney wrote:
I would like someone to please tell me what the presence or absence of a period at the end of the 300 field or defining what cm actually means does to help our patrons, or the rest of the world? This “cm” thing has been discussed to death on more than one listserv and we even had extended discussions about it in our catalogers’ meetings. Why? Why couldn’t the RDA powers that be decide that it wasn’t worth discussing, put a period at the end of “cm” no matter what it stands for, and be done with it?
The issue with RDA that bothers me the most, and seems to get the least discussion, is the lack of practicality and how much extra work it is inflicting on overworked and stressed out catalogers. The RDA cheerleaders can say repeatedly how important moving to a new standard is and how it’s eventually going to be a wonderful metadata universe, but it doesn’t make creating an RDA record less work. I simply don’t understand why our leaders didn’t take this opportunity to make cataloging simpler, easier to learn, easier to teach, easier to do. I absolutely agree that spelling out abbreviations (except, of course, “cm”) makes sense, that leaving the rule of three behind is a good idea, that a simpler 264 is a good thing because the 260 had evolved into an utter mess. I’m not even that opposed to the 33Xs, although would it have killed them to use words that are easier to understand like “book”?But our leaders had an opportunity to simplify. And instead, they found a way to make cataloging more complicated. It’s a shame.
You have summed up pretty well what I have been trying to express. I have called it “making the business case”. RDA is at least as complex as AACR2. You have to subscribe if you want access to the rules. It allows many practices that will have major negative consequences on searching and identification: trace only the first author (No, that does not mean there will be more access. It means less access), no need for a 245$b, and records can literally scream at you because they can be in ALL CAPS. Nobody wants to display the new 3xx fields because nobody will understand them. The relationship fields hide more than they reveal, unless catalogers and IT staff exert themselves in ways that can only be termed as “Homeric” or “Biblical” and yet….
cm cannot end with a period. (!)
It would seem that this is some kind of stereotypical “cataloging joke” waiting for a punchline, but unfortunately it’s not a joke. It’s true.