Re: [ACAT] Advantages of RDA – get rid of disbelievers

Posting to Autocat

Of course, being against certain changes does not mean that someone is against all changes. That is a dead argument. Still, there needs to be at least some agreement on what are the challenges facing us before any kind of changes should be considered, and I don’t think there is much agreement at all.

As only one example, I think there is general agreement that we need to be able to create more records–at least if the 8000+ records being added per day (that no one seems to want to discuss) can be dealt with in any realistic way. This is nothing really new and was also the focus of the LC report on MARC record creation from five years ago “Study of the North American MARC Records Marketplace”

Someone in one of these threads mentioned that RDA will make new record creation faster and easier. I would agree that this would be a positive development. I have seen this assertion several times but have seen no evidence for it at all and in fact, quite the opposite. With RDA, just the physical act of typing goes up substantially with typing out abbreviations in full and adding the author’s degrees and home institutions in the statement of responsibility. Therefore, that cannot be the reason because it just that adds up to more work.

Perhaps we are supposed to think that if we have a variant edition (expression or manifestation) of something already in the catalog, we can take the work or expression information that will exist. Yet, I don’t see how that will make the slightest difference in the actual work of the cataloger from what we do today with copy cataloging. We can now take a record and derive a new one, changing/adding/deleting the information from the variant copy we find. How can this change with RDA/FRBR/Bibframe? This avoids the question of adding and–more importantly–figuring out the multiple relationships that are now supposed to be manually added, whose complexity sometimes seems to demand calling committee meetings!

Can someone please give me an example of how RDA/FRBR structures will make cataloging a variant edition easier for the cataloger than what we do today with copy cataloging?

I will agree that in a relational database structure, it could be more efficient for the SQL queries in the database, but that is almost irrelevant today. Computing speed is still proceeding at an exponential rate and anyway, relational databases are certainly not the latest technology today, and faceted indexes are far more efficient and effective, and those work on flat files.

I do not see how RDA, FRBR or Bibframe can make ease the work of the cataloger.