Posting to RDA-L
On 11/23/2013 5:55 PM, Melissa Powell wrote:
This cataloging consultant/trainer who works with small libraries is piping in. I am grateful for the price reduction for the rest of us–with the new pricing structure I can actually get RDA access to these small and rural libraries.
On the other hand: makes it tough for us on the consortial level because the costs have changed for larger places..
As far as the comment early in this discussion about how hard it was to convince administrators, here is where we as catalogers need to be better about communicating what we do. There is no ‘choice’, the rules have changed. This is the first step to compliance with the rest of the information industry.
When I tell directors that, they are shocked. Duh. Then they comply.
You tell them that they have no choice and they follow what the consultant says. Do you tell them about Mac’s cheat sheets? I wonder what those libraries decide to give up (and will continue to give up) for RDA? Fewer staff hours? Buying fewer materials? Maybe the staff will be expected to pay for it out of their own pockets. Of course, most small libraries do very little original cataloging unless they have local materials or something unique so the utility of actually subscribing may be nominal.
The unavoidable costs come from dealing with the changes to the headings, as we have seen with changing the cataloging abbreviations that has already proven to be too much for many, and there is absolutely zero discussion as to any actual advantages to the users for the purposes of access. We only know that there are suddenly two forms of name that the public must search under until the retrospective conversion happens. And that costs even more money. Who is going to pay for that? In the meantime, the only people being hurt are the searchers who are supposed to search under two forms. Either they never find out and make lousy searches, or they discover that their searches miss a lot (most?) and conclude that the library’s tools just don’t work.
Other changes have been with the new 33x fields in MARC format (will they ever be implemented in a coherent way?), and then the really big change that will come from Bibframe, but at least that is still years away. We are seeing only the very beginnings of the costs.
There are always choices and many choose to cope with RDA however they can. Not everybody is able to squirrel money away and many are stretched as thin as they can now. You just cannot get away from making the business case, sooner or later.