Posting to RDA-L
Mike Tribby wrote:
Should cost of access and the possibility of universal access have been concerns? I think they should have been– but they were not. To perhaps put it crassly: theoretical purity was a higher concern than access. It’s hard to blame the co-publishers very much since none of them are exactly rolling in extra money, and this process has been expensive, but some of us have been complaining about the assumed cost of subscriptions to RDA for some time now.
The current metadata universe could not have been foreseen when FRBR and RDA were being created. I can’t find fault with anyone on this. FRBR first came out in 1998 (which meant several years of development before that). It turned out to be the model for later work, which didn’t begin until 2005 or so. While this may be considered the “fast track” in traditional library experience, the revolutionary changes in information searching and retrieval brought about by Google and continued by many other very powerful companies, didn’t really begin until afterwards, about 2000 or so. In fact, Google didn’t go public until 2004. Most of the really new possibilities of search have taken place only in the last few years and I think we all expect these changes to increase at a huge rate. People really like these new capabilities a lot and in fact, are considered “the standard” by many who compare our tools to the full-text ones. Nobody could really have expected that in the mid-1990s.
Things often don’t turn out as we wish. Those poor people in northern Japan could tell us a lot about that. But “stuff happens” and you have no choice except to deal with them. If the Google-type algorithms had not been discovered (created?), and the global economic meltdown hadn’t happened and everybody were still swimming in money like before 🙂 , matters would be quite different for librarians and catalogers now. But libraries have lost whatever “primacy” they had in metadata, the black box has been opened (as I mentioned in my last podcast) and there is no telling what will happen.
But if RDA is implemented, it must split the library metadata world; that is clear.