Posted tagged ‘RDA’

“Us” vs. “They”

April 15, 2009

Heidi Hoerman’s back at her blog for a week and she’s already stumbled right into some controversy.  Well done.  Yesterday she wrote a post on the openness of bibliographic data, which followed up on a great piece of RDA criticism from Diane Hillmann.  Well in the comments someone went out and accused Hillmann of wishing “to destroy cataloging”.  I haven’t seen that level of vitriol in the field since the OCLC discussions on Autocat caused all the participants with worthwhile things to say to boycot the mailing list entirely.

So of course Hoerman had to issue a rebuttal, a wonderful read.

The Aftermath

December 4, 2008

Wow!  This was a good day.  My workshop went amazingly well and the responses I received for it were more than I possibly could have hoped for.  Huge thanks must go out to Janet Eckert and WMRLS who organized everything and served as the most gracious hosts imaginable.  And the attendees were just as wonderful, everyone seemed engaged, there was a good amount of participation (that I hope will continue online), and they let me rant a bit on copyright, RDA, and the new OCLC records policy.  

And I even got to show off my favorite website of the week, which had nothing to do with anything, goingtorain.com (Thanks Jason).  Sadly the answer we got from it was yes, and that prediction proved accurate.  But even the rain (ok snow while driving back over the mountain), couldn’t bum me out today.  Because I have a handfull of feedback forms that almost uniformly say the one improvement that could be made to the workshop, was to add more time to it.  And in the positive column I got some of the best praise possible, that it was actually practical and useful.

And to top it all off, lunch at the Black Sheep, home of the greatest cookie I know, the Repulican National Convention cookie (full of fruit and nuts).  They started making these back in ’04, they’re basically giant macaroons filled with whatever nuts, fruit, and bits of chocolate they had left over in the kitchen from all their other baked goods.  If you’re ever in Amherst you must stop in, the baguettes are amazing too.

A Few More Links

November 18, 2008

A complete transcript has gone up for Pamela Samuelson’s keynot address at Berkeley’s Free Culture Conference (via BoingBoing).  This is an amazing piece on the faults in current copyright law, why it will eventually be forced to change, and how to go about making those changes.  Read it! (yes I give homework snow).

Oh and after a series of delays the full draft of RDA has finally been released.  But I haven’t had a chance to read it yet (which would be my homework).  Expect more on this later.

RDA MIA

October 22, 2008

There’s been a lot of talk on Autocat this week regarding the absence of RDA’s first full draft.  It was originally supposed to be released last week.  Now the rumor mill is saying it’ll be out on Halloween, the irony of which has not passed anyone by, especially not after Heidi Hoerman’s presentation.  Something has gone horribly wrong.

Reaching our Limits

October 4, 2008

There are some days when I truly despair for how far behind library catalogs are from the rest of the world.  At work yesterday one of my colleagues was attempting to compile a list of our new DVDs for our patrons and was unable to pull out a single piece of useful from the system besides the titles.  She wanted to list the directors of each film, which couldn’t be done.  She also wanted the year each film was released in cases where there were multiple adaptations, couldn’t be done.

The sad thing is that some of that information was indeed in the records, just not in a useful way.  Anyone who has any role in the production of a film can be listed in a record if the cataloger felt so inclined at the time, but their roles are never assigned and it’s not considered essential information so it only appears sporadically.  

Which officially makes our catalogs less powerful than the IMDB, Google, and the spreadsheet I cobbled together in excel for my own collection.  And don’t think that dvd’s are a unique example, this is par for the course.  Using a catalog try to find comics written but not drawn by Frank Miller, novels written by the actual V.C. Andrews, or a collection containing the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.

These are all useful, fairly everyday searches that are impossible to conduct using the catalog alone.  And we these are pieces of software we’re paying small ransoms for, which are all the while becoming more and more obsolete.  And to make maters worse, we can accept a large amount of the blame for this ourselves.  While we’re debating the practicalities of FRBR and RDA and generally aren’t getting anywhere with a great deal of speed LibraryThing is merrily marching on with less than a dozen people on staff and have been implementing exactly these sorts of things monthly.

Why can’t we do the same with the resources that come from the rest of the profession?