Whether we do away with MARC or not, there is going to need to be some type of coding to identify various parts of a record.  I am still not really sure how, in data entry concept, BIBFRAME does much differently. Maybe more fields. 

One field that I think was tried many years ago was a subject heading field that consisted of all, or most, of the words that would have been in our 6xx fields in one field.  From the keyword search approach, I am not sure I see any problem with that.  Sure easier on the cataloger trying to figure out what order a heading with more than 1 subdivision should be.


Kathleen Goldfarb
Technical Services Librarian
College of the Mainland
Texas City, TX 77539
409 933 8202

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-----Original Message-----
From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bernhard Eversberg
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 1:36 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Input screens

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?)