The message from University of Minnesota states that " clearly flagging headings needing review will greatly aid in training cataloguers and in giving them the confidence to work efficiently in a mixed RDA and pre-RDA environment."
This argument is circular. IF it is important for catalogers to follow RDA and associated LCPS and PCC policy to the letter and in all points, then it will be helpful for the LCAF to be as pure RDA as possible. However, some have claimed that RDA is user centered and allows room for judgment. It would be possible to see RDA, not as the final arbitrator of every last abbreviation, capital letter and $c in personal names, but as one representation of the evolving cataloging practice that has resulted in a very hybrid but still usable body of work. Not only descriptive conventions, but subject headings and classification are continually changing, and as long as consistency is maintained for the treatment of any given name or topic, the fact different headings and records were created under different flavors of rules need not be a problem. Though some important principles in establishing headings changed with AACR2, most changes have been small and evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. (Though RDA may be theoretically revolutionary, the MARC records that we are still bound to look pretty much the same.)
If we could take RDA as a guide rather than something bordering on scripture, and let "optional" mean "at the option of the cataloger" rather than "up to LC and PCC to rule on" it would be simpler to train catalogers. If we were not so concerned with being sure that authority records were carefully labeled as RDA-compliant or not, we would have more time to collectively create more authority records, which regardless of the exact rules, rule interpretations, policy statements and group deliberations that were used to create them, all function to distinguish names from one another and to lead users to resources.
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Chew Chiat Naun
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 9:48 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Alternates for the RDA conversion
At the University of Minnesota we have also discussed the alternative proposals and we generally find ourselves in agreement with the University of Washington's position, and in particular with the first four points expressed in Joseph Kiegel's April 20 message.
We recognize that system capacity is a genuine concern for many institutions. We have heard discussion elsewhere of a possible compromise approach that we believe deserves serious consideration.
This is to make all of the changes originally proposed to the LC/NACO authority file but to distribute only a subset of the changed records.
This may be one of the subsets proposed under scenarios 1-4, or perhaps it may be possible to offer individual institutions a choice among them. Records not reissued at this point could be reissued on a future schedule, or upon being changed in some other way.
Institutions with a limited capacity to absorb changes would not be disadvantaged by this approach as compared with any of the limited redistribution scenarios, but the benefits of having a comprehensively updated central authority file would be preserved.
Whatever solution is adopted, we think it will be valuable to make the status of headings explicit. As a minimum, records with 1XX headings not usable under RDA without review should be labelled with a 667 field, as proposed under scenario 2 (as well as in all of the more ambitious scenarios). While it is true that users will not care if a heading is RDA-compliant, we think that clearly flagging headings needing review will greatly aid in training cataloguers and in giving them the confidence to work efficiently in a mixed RDA and pre-RDA environment. Because the LC/NACO authority file is available to be consulted online, these changes would be of benefit to cataloguers even if the records in question are not redistributed.
Chew Chiat Naun
University of Minnesota Libraries
160 Wilson Library
Minneapolis, MN 55455
On 20 April 2012 18:18, Joseph Kiegel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Comments from the Univ. of Washington, after discussion here:
> The original proposal from the task group has many strengths, as
> outlined in the alternate scenarios: headings not suitable under RDA
> are clearly identified, all records that may receive 046s and 378s get
> them, and all records suitable for use under RDA are coded as such.
> These are goals worth achieving.
> It is important to acknowledge that the authority file is not only for
> human use but also for machine use. The presumption voiced on this
> listserv that catalogers can tell which headings are usable is not
> true in a machine
> environment: the computer will not know which headings are usable.
> As PCC plans to use the authority file in a linked-data environment,
> it will be very important to populate the file with needed data
> elements, and the
> 046 is one of them. It would be unfortunate to fall back on partial
> and manual addition of this field, when it can be done
> programmatically by machine.
> The authority file also needs clear coding on the status of records.
> That is, AACR2 headings suitable for use under RDA need to be coded as
> RDA. A situation where machines need to ignore coding and make
> assumptions about what it "really" means is fragile and does not
> provide a sound basis for the authority file. The library world may
> be able to limp along with this, but when these data are exposed on
> the Web, records need accurate and current coding.
> We support the task group's original proposal and do not find any of
> the alternate scenarios acceptable for the long term. If an alternate
> scenario such as Alternate 3 is required in the short-term, it has to
> be packaged with a specific plan to remedy its shortcomings. The "Left for the future"
> section of the scenarios document does not provide that plan.
> In our view, the real problem is the capacity of the NACO distribution
> pipeline. It was adequate in the past, but not in today's environment.
> Rather than discussing inadequate alternate scenarios, we would rather
> see the discussion shift to how the pipeline can be brought up to a
> capacity that meets current demands. This seems like a better
> solution to the problem, and will allow the authority file to migrate to the form it needs.
> In our view, a minimum capacity for the pipeline is 10% of the file
> per day, which would be about 800,000 records/day. This would allow a
> complete reload in 10 days, which is still a long time, but
> acceptable. Surely future plans to "pour it into a new data
> structure" will require this kind of capacity, so we may as well start now.
> From the point of view of a local library, changes to large numbers of
> records are not a problem as long as the heading (1XX) itself stays
> the same. We can load hundreds of thousands of records quickly if the
> only changes are added note fields or changes to coded values.
> Comments on specific alternates:
> Alternate 3: it does not seem to cover AACR2 headings not suitable
> for RDA that need to be marked for review, e.g. headings qualified by degree (Ph.
> Alternate 5: this looks acceptable if it can be carried out in the
> week described. However, if pipeline capacity is an issue, we do not
> understand how this is possible.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gary L Strawn
>> Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012 3:20 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [PCCLIST] Alternates for the RDA conversion
>> The PCC Acceptable Headings Implementation Task Group has received a
>> number of comments suggesting that the work plan devised by the
>> earlier PCC Task Group on AACR2 & RDA Acceptable Headings for
>> manipulating the LC/NACO Authority File for use under RDA involves
>> the unnecessary re-issuance of too many records over too great a span
>> of time. The present task group has devised a number of alternate scenarios, described in the attached document.
>> (This document is also available from the Task Group's download site:
>> http://files.library.northwestern.edu/public/pccahitg) All these
>> scenarios involve the performance of RDA-related mechanical changes
>> described in documents previously distributed by the task group
>> ("Dept." becomes "Department", for example), but differ in other
>> changes to be made, and the schedule on which the changes are performed.
>> The task group invites public discussion of the merits of the
>> original plan and the proposed alternates, and is happy to entertain
>> suggestions for yet other possibilities. Even if you've expressed an
>> opinion on this matter before, please do so again, as the audience may now be a bit broader.
>> Gary L. Strawn, Authorities Librarian, etc.
>> Northwestern University Library, 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston IL
>> e-mail: [log in to unmask] voice: 847/491-2788 fax:
>> 847/491-8306 Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. BatchCat version:
Chew Chiat Naun
University of Minnesota Libraries
160 Wilson Library
Minneapolis, MN 55455