Posting to NGC4LIB
Cory Rockliff wrote:
Isn’t this, to some extent, a false either-or? In the card era, a “Do it once, and do it right” mentality made perfect sense, since any change meant pulling cards and revving up the electric eraser, and what today is a simple global find-and-replace could mean months of labor.
Nowadays, a more iterative approach to cataloging is possible, so perhaps the priority should be building better systems for collaborative editing and enhancement of bibliographic metadata, rather than trying to enforce standards.
This is why I added the possible option 3, which method would, when transferred to the food industry, amount to doing a recall when the quality control finds problems. While this is an option, the number of “recalls” must be kept to a minimum of course. What is this minimum: 90% compliance or 50%? In library terms, this is equivalent to the amount of recataloging. While some changes may be fixable through globals, this assumes that the errors are consistent. But if it’s a matter of lousy titles because the title in the ONIX record is actually the title of an earlier version that was changed, or there are typos (which come from my own experience), then the only way of dealing with it is to retrieve materials. If we are dealing with XML documents however, the title and much of the descriptive information could quite literally come from the item itself, and this could mean a major savings. This is a ways off in the future, though.
Well, there we are. In my position, I do a certain amount of cataloging, and I vastly prefer editing any kind of existing text to transcribing.
But then again, I’m a lousy typist.
So, if all these records have to be changed as it comes in, let’s not delude ourselves that we are all following standards. As I have mentioned before, if an electronics store had to open up and check every TV set they sold to make sure that the wiring was good enough not to electrocute the customers, or if a grocery store had to check each candy bar to make sure it isn’t filled with rat hair, our society would disintegrate.
Once again, other fields can deal with real, standards that are enforced, and I am thankful they do. I don’t want to be electrocuted or eat food that is rotten or nasty. The bibliographic world so far has not been able to do this. What will be the future? I don’t know.