ACAT Recording place of publication

On 28/07/2015 21.25, J. McRee Elrod wrote:

> Since we are no longer trying to squeeze data onto a 3 x 5 in. card, > why ever omit jurisdiction? A city well know in one place may not be > universally so known. Just supply it, and don’t waste time wondering > how well known the city is. That is a subjective judgement, and of > course will vary from cataloguer to cataloguer, even in the same > institution. That way lies inconsistency.

The opposite question can also be asked: why ever include jurisdiction?

It all goes back to Lubetzky’s “Is this rule necessary?” which I think will have to be asked by the present generation sooner or later. In our age of efficiency management, organizational restructuring and decreasing budgets (which do not seem to be improving substantially anytime soon), we need to find out for which constituency/constituencies each bit of information is necessary. If something is found to be useless for 99% of the users, it will probably be jettisoned. It is much better to decide such questions calmly and in full knowledge of the facts rather than screaming at the last moment because “We can’t continue to do everything! Something’s gotta give!” and dumping overboard all kinds of things that may be very important to certain constituencies and retaining other parts that may be useless. It happens all the time; certainly it happens in libraries.

In the present case, with MARC21 we already supply jurisdiction. If it is seen as so important, a few lines of code could display the jurisdiction in the 008 automatically and catalogers would not have to do any more work than they have always done. Managers might then decide that it would be worthwhile to pay the costs for programming. If Bibframe doesn’t currently include the 008 information, it should be altered so that it does.

James Weinheimer weinheimer.jim.l@gmail.com
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