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?
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.
Associate Director &
Head of Information Services
William F. Maag Library
Youngstown State University
"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?)