As someone involved with local training for some time, I agree that we shouldn't sweat the small stuff. Barbara Tillett pretty much said the same thing at the Midwinter Copy Cataloging IG, using the cm period/no period as an example. Regarding capitalization, when training staff (permanent, temporary, students) in creating permanent minimal records in multiple languages, capitalization rules are the most difficult to master (if anyone does) in my opinion. I wish we had adopted the option to "capitalize what you see" for this type of record long before now. The thought that in a cooperative environment pcc would have catalogers "upgrade" such records to "correct" capitalization seems like something dreamed up by an administrator to stereotype cataloging as a useful contribution to the profession.
Anyway, if RDA gives cataloging an excuse to disengage from MARC before I retire it will have earned its subscription costs, in my opinion (which is personal, not representing the views of Cataloging & Metadata Services or Yale University).
PS regarding "cm". Since we know OCLC is developing an RDA template & those of us who do our cataloging locally also use macros, why not have the no period cm be the default? I would blame ISBD's vision of the descriptive catalog card paragraph rather than RDA for the unnecessary complexity.
Catalog Librarian for Training & Documentation
Catalog & Metadata Services, SML, Yale University
P.O. Box 208240 New Haven, CT 06520-8240
(203)432-8286 [log in to unmask]
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Amy Turner
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:19 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: More about two concerns about RDA
Nobody has explained how RDA will help us embrace the brave new world of linked data. Oh well, it seems that the train has left the station, and we'll have to do the best we can with what we have. So I'd like to focus on the issue of flexibility when it comes to details such as capitalization and punctuation.
Adam Schiff wrote " Personally, I hope that the PCC will decide to follow the basic instruction in RDA for capitalization, which says to follow the appendix on capitalization. Which is to continue the capitalization practices that we are now doing in AACR2. I would not like to see libraries taking the option to follow the capitalization in the manifestation. In particular, the RDA records created in all caps I find less easy to read and it's like shouting. I could live with an exception for batchloaded record sets where the library cannot redo the capitalization already present in the records."
In an email, Bob Maxwell wrote " in my opinion the LCPS mischaracterizes the RDA alternative- the 1.7.1 alternative is to either follow a house manual (such as the Chicago Manual) or, IF the data are derived from a digital source (e.g. ONIX information, or cutting and pasting from a source such as Amazon), to ingest the data without revising the capitalization. Neither alternative calls for manually copying the exact capitalization from a title page, as the LCPS allows."
So, we have [at least] three options for capitalization. I would like for PCC to define "optional" as "at the discretion of the individual cataloger." We all have our preferences. Why do we have to argue which preference is better when it comes to details that a user is not going to care about?
Even if PCC decides to lay down the law about capitalization and punctuation, are they going to enforce the law? Take the final punctuation of the 300 field, as explained in NCSU's RDA documentation:
* When a Series Area is present, the 300 field terminates with an ISBD full stop (RDA D.1.2.7)
* The 300 field does not terminate with an ISBD full stop when followed by the Note Area because the prescribed way to begin the Note Area is to begin a new paragraph (RDA D.1.2.8)
* The 336, 337 and 338 fields are ignored when determining if an ISBD full stop is needed
* Use abbreviations prescribed in RDA B.7 for terms used for dimensions (e.g. "in.")
* Metric symbols are not abbreviations; such symbols are not followed by a full stop. (e.g. "cm")
What if at least some Duke catalogers decide that while it is no big deal to have workforms appear with "pages" and "illustrations" as defaults, they aren't going to correlate the final period of the 300 field with the presence of a 4XX field. We are used to using "cm." and we'll keep right on using "cm." Will this act of defiance get us kicked out of PCC? Will other PCC libraries instruct copy catalogers to be sure to check copy for compliance with this rule?
Some time ago, an administrator here at Duke asked me for some information about RDA. Thinking about it, I boiled my opinion down to two sentences. "RDA is a distraction from more important issues. We should work to minimize the distraction."
I am now on the RDA Training Materials Task Group, and I am especially interested in finding materials which will allow catalogers to hit the ground running with RDA, and not spend hours scratching their heads over what option they are "supposed" to follow.
Comments welcome, as always.
Amy H. Turner
Monographic Cataloger and Authority Control Coordinator
Duke University Libraries
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