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Tuesday, February 26, 2008


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One disclaimer: I haven't read much of the RDA documentation. I've mostly followed discussion and comments on it, but I find reading rules and guidelines mind-numbing.

Now, my comments:
I've heard a number of people complain about the way RDA is constructed, specifically the chapters. My understanding was that this was intended to be a fully online tool. If that is the case, is it necessary for the "chapters" to be set up as they would be in a print version? If everything is hyperlinked, I don't see how the problems many are having with the chapter layout is necessarily an issue.

Also, I suspect that RDA IS intending to push the FRBR conceptual model. Is it going to be a difficult adjustment for catalogers? Yes. Especially those who've been passionately attached to the old ways. Is FRBR a better way of serving the needs of the patrons? I think so. The vast majority of users don't really care whether they have the 235 p. edition by X Press rather than the 242 p. edition by Y Publishing. They just want the content.

I suspect that even once RDA is available, it will take a significant amount of time before most libraries implement it. Both due to the fact that there will be resistance to the idea, and because current ILS' aren't generally well equipped to deal with FRBR.

Chris Schwartz

Hi arkham, I see your point about RDA being an online resource with hyperlinks. But I still think the chapter structure is worth looking at since it will be one way to navigate the online version. For example, in Cataloger's Desktop I often navigate using the table of contents as well as the hyperlinks.

Also, my concern about designing RDA solely around the FRBR model grows out of my fledgling reading on metadata. It seems there will be other models for metadata construction. For example, I actually think that for some resources "expression" would work better as an attribute of "work" rather than a separate entity. I think what I really want is "RDA lite." Hmm I feel another post coming on ...

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