Posting to RDA-L
On 04/12/2013 9.56, Bernhard Eversberg wrote:
03.12.2013 21:58, Cindy Wolff:
This is what I have been thinking about for a while as I read these discussions:
What if we gave a standard and nobody came, but some other powerful, oblivious standard came for us
What concerns us here is only a very small corollary of the big issue: access to the knowledge of cataloging. That access used to be easy: you bought an affordable book, or borrowed it from a library, and then maybe a textbook explaining what it all meant. These times are over. To get the whole story, you need to pay an annual fee or buy a not very affordable stack of paper giving less than the whole story and obsolescing rapidly. Certainly, textbooks are in the making or have already appeared on the scene.
Partly, these may be collectiong knowledge that has been discussed and openly contributed to this list or AUTOCAT. Laudable endeavors, but by now, sooo 19th century, or not? And then, actually supporting a monopoly that should not exist in the first place, and a standard that hasn’t proved to match a business case yet.
In addition to this it needs to be said that other standards are out there and they are being actively developed. For instance, if you want your bibliographic records to go into Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. it has already been decided: you must use schema.org microdata. Those companies already turned down OAI-PMH, and I honestly don’t know if or why they would change their minds when (if) Bibframe comes out. RDA and FRBR are certainly not a part of their “information universes” in any way at all. I am not sure whether schema.org is any real solution for libraries or not, but it is certainly worth a try.
The main reason that it may not be a solution is: after you get your records into the Googles, those records must come up in the top 3 or at most 10 hits–otherwise, nobody will ever see them and the records may as well not exist. That means getting into SEO (search engine optimization) and libraries are absolute babes-in-the-wood when it comes to that cut-throat business. That is a competition libraries can only lose. Still, getting the records into the Googles can’t actually hurt libraries and something good may come out of it so long as we don’t expect too much.
But, if I had to make decisions for a non-library institution for what to do with our institution’s metadata, would I prefer RDA/FRBR, which is semi-incoherent, expensive, difficult to implement and has yet to prove any advantages, or would I rather choose schema.org, which is easier, clearer and cheaper, so that I then could put my efforts into SEO?
So, non-library organizations have lots and lots of choices at their disposal. It’s only the libraries that seem to have none at all….