Posting to RDA-L

Hal Cain wrote:

Jim, I think you’re over-thinking it. Confronted with a new book,
don’t we examine it and check our favorite database(s) to verify
whether it’s a new work or a version of an existing work? If new, we
just treat it at the manifestation level. Under the
currently-anticipated regime for implementing RDA (until we are
engaged in a different scenario, for which systems and services don’t
yet exist on any significant global scale) we’ll do the same. Having
accounted for the manifestation and its content, then it’s done.

You’re right Hal. For the moment with the few changes that RDA actually implements, we will be doing essentially the same thing as we are doing today: cataloging manifestations and dealing with works and expressions only when we need to. The changes of RDA, as I have mentioned so many times before, are such that our patrons most probably won’t even notice any changes at all. (This is why I say that RDA changes are only faux-changes, i.e. it changes only cataloger’s work, is not worth the effort, blah, blah blah, when what we *sorely need* are changes in other areas of the catalog and cataloging, but those are different topics)

However, when (not if) linked data is implemented there will be a need for the cataloger to determine these issues. RDA is almost finalized, and it strikes me that there is such difficulty on determining something as basic as: what is a work! (I’m having trouble too, by the way!) And this while everybody seems to agree that it is vital to determine WEMI now.

Somehow, things are not adding up. The only consolation is that with MARC format, especially in its bizarre ISO2709 version, none of it matters for the moment.

But that is quite an odd sort of consolation!