There is discussion on fitting RDA into the MARC 21 record structure.
Regardless of whether or not we keep anything that resembles MARC, why are
catalogers ridiculed for their own language and jargon when every other
profession has their own jargon?





From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Allen Trimble
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 9:00 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Input screens


So, this has me thinking the question:  "If MARC is the language of
catalogers, then why change?  Why not enhance the MARC21 record structure to
accommodate all of the things BIBFRAME has been discussing?


Why not create sub-records linked to it in the MARC format?  We have
Authority records linked to Bibliographic records (some are soft linked and
other are hard-linked using VOC), item records that contain much of the 852
data (location, sometimes call#, barcode, circulation statistics, etc), 

Patron records, etc.


Could we not create:

Manifestation level records

Container level records

Content note records

Deep data indexing records

Etc. etc. etc. 


All in MARC21 and linked to the bibliographic record?


Oh yes, could marc not be expanded to a 4-digit tag, and be redefined to say
1TB for size?  Storage is cheap.


This is theory only if we agree with Bernhard that MARC is the language of
catalogers.  What's going on "under the hood" doesn't matter to them
[catalogers], as long as the language doesn't change.


Yes, a Tower of Babel would be so helpful today-not.





Jeffrey Trimble

Associate Director &

Head of Information Services

William F.  Maag Library

Youngstown State University

330.941.2483 (Office)

[log in to unmask]

"For he is the Kwisatz Haderach..."






On 1/16/13 2:36 AM, "Bernhard Eversberg" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


Am 16.01.2013 03:31, schrieb Kevin M Randall:


Whoever creates the input forms will of course assign labels that are

appropriate to the elements and that make sense.  There should be

problems only when someone tries to use a form designed for someone

who works in a different language.



Many, as it appears, want to get rid of the MARC language in favor of

something much easier to understand and use.

Obviously, any number of input form schemes can be devised which,

endowed with all sorts of latter-day embellishments as we know them

from Web forms, are easier to understand and use than a blank MARC

input screen. Yet, this will always be true only for a specific

community or members of a particular agency or network or customers

of a certain vendor.


MARC, for all its quirks and deficiencies, is a language now understood

and used by technical services people (almost) the world over. It is the

living language of catalogers the world over. (Can you imagine them

talking, over phone or Skype or mail, using the terms in their

local input forms? Or the RDA element set names, for that matter?)


If BIBFRAME or NISO can come up with something that is better in this

regard, they will be applauded. If they just invite others (vendors,

open source developers, OCLC etc.) to create new schemes for data

inputs, for everyone to pick and choose from, they are laying the

foundation stone for a new tower of Babel.


Coming to think of it:

English is a language used and understood the world over. It has quirks

and deficiencies in abundance. Should it not be replaced by something

vastly better? Who's taking this on?


Simply put, a number says more than a label, and it speaks to readers

the world over, though not without some education. (Or are we

envisioning phasing out all educated staff from cataloging?)