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  • Thank you for posting this! I have been hunting for articles that would help explain RDA et al. to public service librarians. Your presentation brilliantly sums up the current state of things and highlights the larger issues.
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  • Sorry, Heidi, but I think you've missed the boat on this. RDA is more than the cataloging rules--take a look at the provisional registration of the RDA Elements, Roles and Values at: http://metadataregistry.org. All of this is imperfect but a start, and it's just unfortunate that too many people are busy trying to derail it. Having just returned from Europe, which is generally very excited by this work and eager to see it succeed, it's sad to see US librarians not looking deeply into what's really behind the proposed changes, and betraying a deep ignorance of its important implications.
    -- Diane Hillmann
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  1. 1. <ul><li>This presentation was prepared for and delivered to the OCLC/MOUG Conference, Cleveland OH, Sept. 25-28, 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Missing from the slides is the extensive narrative that emphasized </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The gratitude & respect due the Joint Steering Committee for all their work; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The intellectual debt owed Barbara Tillett for her vision and leadership; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And the emphasis that this is just Heidi Hoerman making an educated guess and in no way represents the opinion or sanction of anyone else. </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. How Should I Prepare for RDA? Should I Prepare for RDA?
  3. 3. What the Heck’s Going on with RDA!?!
  4. 4. Why Me? <ul><li>I don’t have a horse in this race </li></ul><ul><li>I’m old as dirt </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching faculty have got it made </li></ul><ul><li>I must figure this out to prepare students </li></ul>
  5. 5. Basis for Best Guesses <ul><li>Reading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From many different sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cataloging folk & machine folk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anglo-American & other countries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Poking informants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asking folks whose opinions I respect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asking folks who have been involved </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thinking and thinking and thinking … </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><ul><li>AACR2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ISBD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MARC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FRBR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FRANAR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FRSAR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RDA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>JSC </li></ul><ul><li>LC </li></ul><ul><li>CC:DA </li></ul><ul><li>ALA Publishing </li></ul><ul><li>LC Working Group </li></ul><ul><li>MARBI </li></ul><ul><li>IME ICC </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul>What? Who?
  7. 7. And what about …? <ul><li>MARC? </li></ul><ul><li>Dublin Core? </li></ul><ul><li>OAI PMH? </li></ul><ul><li>The Consolidated ISBD? </li></ul><ul><li>OCLC? </li></ul><ul><li>ILS vendors? </li></ul><ul><li>Let alone the “metadata community” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Malaclypse the Younger. Principia Discordia . (1977)
  9. 9. <ul><li>Conclusions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RDA will die a quiet death. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AACR2r2010 will be published. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RDA’s aims will be realized in due time. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>STATEMENT OF PURPOSE FOR RDA </li></ul><ul><li>RDA - Resource Description and Access will be a new standard for resource description and access, designed for the digital world. </li></ul><ul><li>Built on foundations established by the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR), RDA will provide a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on resource description and access covering all types of content and media. </li></ul><ul><li>RDA will enable users of library catalogues and other systems of information organization to find, identify, select, and obtain resources appropriate to their information needs. </li></ul><ul><li>From the JSC Strategic Plan for RDA </li></ul>
  11. 11. What are the aims of RDA? <ul><li>To get rid of old baggage </li></ul><ul><li>To have a new code </li></ul><ul><li>To be more global </li></ul><ul><li>To solve the multiple versions problem </li></ul><ul><li>To enable data sharing with the “metadata community” </li></ul>
  12. 12. To get rid of old baggage <ul><li>Eschew “AACR3” </li></ul><ul><li>Eschew words like “cataloging” </li></ul><ul><li>Try to look more like the other kids </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get rid of funny punctuation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get rid of strange rule numbers </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. And so, JSC changed course.
  14. 14. To have a new code If ALA Publishing has a best seller it's the cataloging rules.
  15. 15. To be more global <ul><li>Get rid of “Anglo-American” </li></ul>Oops! But only Anglo-American Participants No coordination with IFLA Makes ISBD optional
  16. 16. Multiple Versions Problem <ul><li>Solving the multiple versions problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Barbara Tillett </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Her dissertation: Bibliographic Relationships: Toward a Conceptual Structure of Bibliographic Information Used in Cataloging . UCLA, 1987. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leading force in FRBR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We are starved for theory & leadership </li></ul>
  17. 17. “ We are now at a point in history where there is a convergence of ideas reflecting the optimism that improvements can be made on the way we describe, organize, and make resources available to users. We now have the ability to use descriptive metadata for direct access to resources. … B. Tillett. In Understanding FRBR. (2007)
  18. 18. “… When the resource is available digitally online, that descriptive metadata can be the direct connection to serving the user with the desired resource, while also enabling libraries to inform the user of versions of that resource in multiple languages or editions and providing pathways to related resources—all the works by the same creator(s), all the resources on the same subject, etc.” B. Tillett. In Understanding FRBR. (2007)
  19. 19. <ul><li>There were no hearings </li></ul><ul><li>There was no research on efficacy </li></ul><ul><li>There was no testing of sample systems </li></ul><ul><li>There was no assessment of the bibliographic knowledge base available to those who create bibliographic records </li></ul>Did the Cataloging Community Agree to Operationalize FRBR?
  20. 20. “ As bibliographers, we cannot indeed but wish, that the catalogue of every library were a bibliographical dictionary of its books. Practically, however, we must restrict our efforts, with the limits of probable accomplishment.” C.C. Jewett. Smithsonian Report on the Construction of Catalogues of Libraries. (1853)
  21. 21. The Vision Thing meets Practicality <ul><li>FRBR is glorious as vision </li></ul><ul><li>Realizing a vision takes planning, coodination, cooperation, pooled effort, compromise, investment … </li></ul><ul><li>JSC jumped the gun </li></ul>
  22. 22. The IFLA principles aren’t finalized There are no findings from FRBR experiments There is no general commitment to ramp up catalogs and cataloging by libraries RDA goes forth, but
  23. 23. Data Interoperability <ul><li>Marc produces serial (linear) data suited for communication of individual bibliographic records </li></ul><ul><li>Marc was developed in 1967 </li></ul><ul><li>Marc is a labeling system </li></ul><ul><li>Is the problem with the cataloging or with the coding? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the problem with MARC or with the content of bibliographic records </li></ul>
  24. 24. Are We Coordinating with the Wider Metadata Community? <ul><li>RDA ignored Dublin Core until last year </li></ul><ul><li>Only last year MARC/RDA group formed </li></ul>
  25. 25. Are We Coordinating with the Wider Metadata Community? <ul><li>The meaning of “Resource Description” as in “Resource Description Framework” is well established </li></ul><ul><li>RD refers to data structure not to specifics of data content </li></ul><ul><li>RDA eschews discussion of data structure </li></ul><ul><li>RDA is all about content </li></ul>
  26. 26. RDA changes the cataloging not the coding
  27. 27. <ul><li>“ Remember, RDA is Resource Description and Access, an in-progress revision to cataloguing rules, and the Dublin Core Metadata Intitiative (DCMI) is behind a widespread and fairly simple metadata schema, Dublin Core. RDA and DC are sometimes contrasted because the former is (or will be) a huge book full of complicated rules and DC can be used extremely casually.” </li></ul>William Denton on The FRBR Blog
  28. 28. Conflicting Hopes for RDA <ul><li>Extensibility, flexibility, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enabling use of the data for many purposes in many environments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specificity, detail, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leading to consistency of products for sharing across environments </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. RDA reminds me of … <ul><li>TGI Friday’s </li></ul><ul><li>Szechwan </li></ul><ul><li>Shrimp </li></ul><ul><li>Fettucine </li></ul><ul><li>Alfredo </li></ul>
  30. 30. Conflicting Hopes for RDA <ul><li>It will be compatible with AACR2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But a break with the past </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It will get rid of the archaic “main entry” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But will have “primary” entities & relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It will enable showing FRBR relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But will allow us to make the kind of bibliographic records we are used to </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It will enable sharing of data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But it’s not a data standard </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Conflicting Hopes for RDA <ul><li>It will be simpler without jargon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s growing in length by leaps and bounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It has it’s own jargon that is unique to it and FRBR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It will be easier to teach, train, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you understand what you’ve read of it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And what about losing all the mnemonics in rule numbers? </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Oops!
  33. 33. <ul><li>LiCoWoGrFuBiCo </li></ul><ul><li>“ Suspend Work on RDA.” </li></ul>Nails in the Coffin
  34. 34. <ul><li>LC/NAL/NLM Statement </li></ul><ul><li>We’re committed to its further development. </li></ul><ul><li>We will test it. </li></ul><ul><li>We will assess it. </li></ul><ul><li>We will do a business model for implementation </li></ul><ul><li>And then we’ll decide … </li></ul>Nails in the Coffin
  35. 35. And then the economy took a dive Nails in the Coffin
  36. 36. <ul><li>Recent AUTOCAT & Blog discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Recent confirmation of the unreasonable calendar </li></ul>Nails in the Coffin
  37. 37. <ul><li>Conclusions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RDA will die a quiet death. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AACR2r2010 will be published. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RDA’s aims will be realized in due time. </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Where does this leave us <ul><li>With a code of rules not updated since 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Good & well meaning people frustrated </li></ul><ul><li>Back at square one </li></ul><ul><li>If we are still going to use AACR2 through this decade we need to maintain it. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Malaclypse the Younger. Principia Discordia. 1977 RDA’s reign as sacred chao is coming to a close.
  40. 40. &quot;You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.&quot; Friedrich Nietzsche .