Re: [RDA-L] 336, 337, 338 and the post-MARC environment

Posting to RDA-L

On 09/05/2013 23:11, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:

My software, and by extension, my users using my software, use the MARC leader, 007, 008, 040, and other fixed/coded fields, every day. It is not data that nobody uses or can use.

But that’s your opinion, that it has been a mistake to have fixed fields and coded fields in MARC from the beginning? That all values in the MARC record ought to be directly and without mediation intelligible to end users, just like a paper card?

You are entitled that opinion (which I do not share), but it does not match how MARC has worked at any point in MARC’s history, so continued use of coded values is hardly a unique innovative sin to RDA, as many seem to be suggesting, although they do it mostly with sarcasm so sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly what they are suggesting.

I’m glad that that those who use your software have access to all of that. For instance, I am sure that the festschrift code has been critical for a huge percentage of the populace. All of those illustration codes, too, although there are only four possible. Maybe we should consider bringing back the “main entry in the body of the entry” 🙂 In the copy I have done, I have noticed the great popularity of the “no attempt to code” option.

So, I guess we should continue to add information irregardless of whether it is used by anyone. In any case, as I said, just continuing to do the same thing is much easier on catalogers’ feelings than to open up the Pandora’s box and evaluate actual utility for users. And yes, “users” includes catalogers and other library collection managers.