I may have fallen asleep in a lecture or two at university but I don’t recall ever snoozing during a professional conference. Unfortunately the recent ACOC conference seemed to have that effect on a few people in the audience.
It was hard going. There was an expectation that everyone understood FRBR (either pronounced “Ef Are Bee Are” or “Fur-burr”) and not everyone did. In fact, I think a lot of us didn’t. If you didn’t understand these core principles then the rest of what they said made little sense.
I went along as a representative of the public library sector, there weren’t many of us there. Cataloguing seems to be the domain of the academic library. It’s like the Hindi caste system.
Brahmin = national and state library cataloguers (all hail us)
Kshatriya = academic cataloguers (if you want to be a REAL cataloguer, you should work in a university)
Vaishya = vendor & special library cataloguers (our cataloguing is of decent quality and we know what we’re doing…in our own special way)
Shudra = public library cataloguers (me! the unwashed masses who use the beautifully created records of the upper-classes).
I suppose at least I’m not an untouchable (the highschool and primary school cataloguers, cataloguers whose opinion seems to mean little to those of our upper castes). Bah.
Anyways, rant aside, the conference was hard going. I thought I knew what was going on until just after afternoon tea, then it all fell apart in my head.
In my last blog post I talked about the 4 levels of RDA – work, expression, manifestation and item. I found out at the ACOC conference that all catalogue records being created were at the manifestation level with extra details from work and expression levels. I glossed over the fact that there were two types of MaRC records, one for catalogue records and one for authority records.
According to the powers that be of RDA, there will still only be two types of MaRC records, one for catalogue records and one for authority records. How on earth does that work when there should be at least 4 levels of records? There should be a MaRC format for authority records, that is seperate. There should THEN be a MaRC format for each RDA level; work, expression, manifestation and item. There won’t be…just the one MaRC file which will include everything.
I know I’m not explaining myself well, but I am:
b) Confused myself
c) Aware that noone reads this
It was frustrating sitting there and aware that I understood the theory of FRBR and even the theory of RDA…the implementation just didn’t seem like it would follow the theoretical model they were proposing. Maybe I missed something.