Re: Perceptions about RDA and BIBFRAME conversations

Posting to RadCat

On 23/03/2013 07:08, Simon Spero wrote:

On Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM, Bothmann, Robert L wrote:

While I think it is great that people are having these philosophical discussions, and I love how many holes Kelley McGrath has poked into BIBFRAME, and I am dismayed by the idea of making BIBFRAME not match FRBR and RDA to get others to use it because–you know, that’s really going to happen (NOT!), I find myself wishing we had RDA and BIBFRAME discussion lists that were practical, friendly, related to library work that real librarians do in the real library wilderness and not always dominated by the same big names.

The BIBFRAME effort is it now stands is not aligned with purpose for which it was created;however the original statements of purpose has not been repudiated.

Whether it will produce a final result of practical utility or not is yet to be seen.

I haven’t joined the discussion on BIBFRAME although I try to keep up with it. It is absolutely necessary to change the format but I have never really understood who BIBFRAME is aimed at. If the purpose is to make FRBR a reality, then it would be primarily a theoretical, academic structure. FRBR is being questioned in many ways (long, long past due!) and now it seems as if BIBFRAME has only three entities, if I am not wrong, which sort of puts a big hole in FRBR, if that is the purpose. If that is the case, what happens to FRBR?

If the purpose is to share records among libraries, that has been done for a long time now.

I thought the reason was to enter the linked data universe so that others could actually use and interoperate with our records. Very few people understand bibliographic structures or concepts other than author, title, publication, pages and subjects however, so anything even slightly complex will be far too much for non-librarians. The current RDF structures shows a lot of work but are far too detailed for some non-cataloger webmaster who wants to work with it.

If the purpose is to make our records available for linked data, if we want anybody to use it, BIBFRAME must be made a simple as possible–probably not much more complicated than Dublin Core.

Changing the format should have been done first, then see what happened as the public used it, then based on what you find out, change any cataloging practices and entire bibliographic structures that was necessary. But now, everything stays theoretical and academic, with consequences very difficult to foresee.