I love it. Thank you for sharing. Marjorie Marjorie E. Bloss, Lecturer Graduate School of Library & Information Science Dominican University 7900 West Division Street River Forest, IL 60305 708-524-6468 (voice) 708-524-6657 (fax) [log in to unmask] ________________________________ From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education & training on behalf of Shawne Miksa Sent: Sat 1/10/2009 11:47 AM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: [eduCAT] incorporating RDA into a Cataloging and Classification class The whole point--as I see it--is to teach them how to approach any set of rules for inputting data into a database. We start our students in the core InfoOrg course--they build their own information organization system from the ground up. This includes identifying the users, user information needs, identify the objects to be organized--including object attributes which are then translated into metadata elements. These elements then become the basis for fields in the database and as they do this they must address the four user tasks as specified in FRBR (find, identify, select, obtain). They then create input rules for those fields--this includes designating a chief source of information for the data, how the data is to be formatted, what to do should data not be present (scenarios, etc.). They also create a classification system, thesaurus, and a very simply name authority database. Over the course of the semester they are writing what is essentially a technical manual for their system, complete with discussions on fundamental IO concepts (e.g., metadata, classification, authority control, field indexing specifications, etc. ) Students then electing to take my cataloging course come to it with this experience of having built their own system so I begin by describing how they will know learn how to catalog using someone else's system (i.e., the "cataloging enterprise")--one that has already in place a set of input rules, an encoding scheme, etc. This is a much more complicated and sophisticated system, to be sure, but they catch on pretty well and are able to apply the concepts and practices. My experience is that too often we divorce AACR2 and RDA from the entirety of the cataloging process and make them out to be some sort of mysterious uncontrollable beasts. Once students make the connection that AACR2 is really just a must more dense version of the simple rules they created for their own system they relax and are able to navigate the set more easily. The bottom line is that data going into a field in a database needs structure. Furthermore, all databases should be based on a conceptual model--in this case FRBR provides that model. FRBR is itself based on the entity-relationship model used for data modeling. (See Maxwell's discussion in chapter 2 of his book "FRBR: a guide for the perplexed" in which he discusses Peter Chen's database modeling technique introduced in 1976). We have information resources/entities, these resources have connections/relationships to each other. We "illustrate" this entity-relationship model via the creation of surrogate records in a database. Clear as mud, right?