Re: [RDA-L] Typos in Titles

Posting to RDA-L

On 08/03/2013 20:48, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:

But they haven’t “stopped.” The choice of main entry (just choosing the main author responsible) is still part of the choice for identifying the work. The uniform title choice (or lack of a decision about it) doesn’t change the fact that a work exists in a manifestation, and it doesn’t change the other decisions that revolve around that fact. There is still a specific choice being made about authorship for the main intellectual or creative content. Even if no other editions exist, it still might be ambiguous as what the work in an item actually is, and who is primarily responsible for it. AACR2 (and mostly copied in RDA) has may situations when catalogers are called upon to tease out the relationships among entities that exist in an item, as well as to do things in a consistent way that is cognizant of relationships between entities in resources in a collection.

So, we see the pronouncements of the purest “true believer”. It is a “fact” that “a work exists within a manifestation”? It is important to keep in mind that this is not a fact, but a belief that may or may not be true, much as whether a soul exists in the body of a person. –The reason I am pointing this out by the way, is that my mother-in-law (quite a lady, incidentally) passed away just in the last few days. Her funeral was today–

So, is there is a “work” dwelling within a manifestation, similar to a soul dwelling within the body? To answer yes or no is merely a matter of faith, not a matter of fact.

In my own opinion, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that doctors create medical care (or catalogers create cataloging practice) that either works in our own world of experience or does not work in our world of experience. The metaphysical world can be left to sort things out for itself. We need to determine whether what we create today–not 30 years in the future–is an improvement over what we have–or does not improve anything at all. Whether we like it or not, all kinds of situations, tools, materials have been left to our keeping. We cannot ignore what we have been left. To do so is simply… crazy. There is something in cataloging called–in my own opinion, the insulting term: legacy data. Maybe it’s not everything we would like; we would like more of it and we would like it to be different. Too bad. It is what we have inherited and represents everything that we have. Many others rely on it. Renounce that, ignore it, and we renounce everything. We harm more than just ourselves and all will be left to suffer the consequences.

Neither RDA nor FRBR has demonstrated that there is any advantage over what we have now. In fact, I have gone to some pains to demonstrate that there will be tremendous dis-advantages compared to what we have today. Plus, if we say that it is important for people to do the FRBR user tasks, they can do them now. Right now. Today.

But this is ignored. Therefore, I can only conclude that the FRBR user tasks are unimportant. People haven’t been able to do those tasks since keyword was introduced, what was it, over 20 years ago!? And yet there was no outcry. When facets actually allowed the user tasks again, there was no fanfare. Clearly, nobody cares about that. What else can anyone possibly conclude? RDA and FRBR have never–absolutely never–demonstrated that they will, or can, create something better for the public than what we have now. Not in realistic, practical terms. Ever. Only vague graphs and promises. And yet people are supposed to keep the faith that they will make a real, substantive difference.

A very sad state of affairs for the cataloging world.

Up until FRBR, a “work” manifested itself only as an arrangement of the records. That’s it. Nothing more. If there was only one record, that has always been enough. Nobody has shown any advantage of the added complexity of RDA. Doesn’t it make sense to expect that someone should demonstrate some practical advantages, somewhere along the way? But that might lead to questions that might puncture the faith.

Pretending that there is a spiritual “work” and “expression” (it appears that BIBFRAME may even drop something out of this mystical union) is only holding on to a theory that some, but not all, consider to be “beautiful”.

Sooner or later though, the public will speak. And it will be interesting to discover what they have to say. Even if we hear complete silence.