I think you've put your finger on it, but I want to try and add yet 
another wrinkle.

What's truly missing from library educational offerings around 
cataloging is some sense of what it means to understand data creation in 
a more general way and how that data is structured, packaged, and shared 
in a world where MARC is on its way out.  I've been having a 
conversation with a librarian who has been sending semi-hysterical 
messages to a list, wanting help understanding how content standards and 
'structure' standards and encoding standards fit together (she's trying 
to make decisions for a project implementation).  She's totally 
confused, and what she's reading isn't helping much, because what she's 
really looking for is a pizza recipe approach to get around her lack of 
understanding, and there isn't one.

To a great extent, the question of whether to teach AACR2 or RDA is one 
of those 'Titanic deck chair rearrangement' questions. Far more critical 
is how we prepare students to cope with the changes we see happening in 
the world they will be entering (much less what we don't know about 
yet), knowing as we do that most of their supervisors are unlikely to be 
able to teach them any of it.


On 4/27/11 9:31 AM, Erin Stalberg wrote:
> Hi Buzz --
>> but the biggest challenge now is
>>> how to respond to students who say "Why should we be expected to 
>>> learn AACR2
>>> rules, since they're about to be overturned by RDA?"
> I have been giving a three-part answer to this question:
> (1) along the lines of what you've said: AACR2 is the current standard 
> in use by most US libraries until the US RDA Test period results in a 
> decision about RDA implementation and (if the decision is a go) until 
> that implementation occurs.
> (2) the transition is going to be longgggggggggggggg.  Even if 
> implementation is a go and an immediate go, libraries will transition 
> their new cataloging to RDA at varying speeds.  Additionally, 
> libraries cannot easily afford to go back to old data. Hopefully, 
> there will be some amount of global-data-upgrade, but that will cost 
> vendors which will ultimately cost libraries.  And there needs to be 
> cost/value assessment about what is worth upgrading v. not.  We'll be 
> looking at and trying to figure out what to do with AACR2 data for 
> quite a long time.  New catalogers coming into the profession are 
> going to be key to that transition and need to understand what old 
> data looks like and how to transform it efficiently & programmatically 
> in new ways (or make it play well together with newly created data in 
> newly created delivery systems)
> (3)  job ads are going to start looking for people who can transition 
> a library from AACR2 to RDA.  This includes both an understanding of 
> the data (#2 above) and also an understanding of the implications for 
> training/staffing/resource allocation of such a transition, and the 
> complex ecosystem of the cooperative cataloging infrastructure.  New 
> folks will need to understand what it means to transition a 
> copy-cataloging unit, for example, what the cost/value implications 
> are for continuing to accept AACR2 copy, implications for delivery 
> systems, etc.
> As others have been saying, we very much live now in a hybrid world of 
> standards.  While I completely understand the teaching challenges of 
> trying to fit in both AACR2 and RDA, I guess my general philosophy is 
> that I am also responsible for teaching that transition is messy and 
> long and that we need to strategize to get through it.  What better 
> way to teach that transition is messy than to (frankly!) dump students 
> into the middle of that very transition?  :-)
> Erin Stalberg
> Head, Metadata and Cataloging
> North Carolina State University Libraries
> (and Adjunct Professor at UNC Chapel Hill)
> [log in to unmask]
> 919.515.5696