I’d like to comment since I’m no longer an active cataloger, (passive at best) but now an administrator who has budgetary responsibilities.

1. Cataloging visual materials proves to be no more difficult using MARC21 than some xml markup language.  MARC21 is a markup language of some sort, though the truth be known it was meant to for the exchange of data between two computer systems, nothing more, nothing less.  Development on the user input (UI) module never happened and catalogers started coding with OCLC-MARC and US-MARC and kept going since there was no development in the 1970s/1980s as such.  Cataloging codes are mutually exclusive of MARC, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  To tie AACR2 to MARC21 and RDA to something else is just utterly a false pretense.

2.  The underlaying costs of conversion from MARC21 to something else will impede the majority of libraries from undertaking this move.  The vendors will want to do this at an exacting cost.  My assumption is that if someone else isn’t going to pay for a conversion or migration of this magnitude, I’m surely not.  I don’t have that kind of budget.  If OCLC thinks they are going to surcharge us or raise the cost of doing business to make this conversion happen—I’ll shop around and maybe move to SkyRiver.  I want to know what my ROI is.  Can anyone tell me what my cost is and what my returns are going to be?  

3.  The catalog is something at the local level.  We have thousands of records that are suppressed on purpose to guard materials from being borrowed (rare, over used, etc. and you can count the reasons why you might do this).  So why do I want to expose them to the semantic web?

The whole linking idea is great, but really, after 40 years using MARC21, some yahoo wants to unravel everything and bill me for it?  I don’t think so.

I would rather see some time spent on further development of MARC21 and enhancing it to do we want instead of coming up with a  new carrier that will be no better in 40 years, or be worse.

Users could care less what is under the hood.  Changing on the pretense that the user will like it better, the catalogers will love it (really? In this day an age we aren’t even investing in hiring Catalogers anymore) and administrators will buy it.  I don’t think do.

I believe that the pushback from catalogers is from them feeling like they have not been included or they still aren't buying it.  Did someone way snake oil salesmen?  ;-)

I’ve been monitoring Bib Frame from the beginning—I’m still not sold on it.  I understand the structure completely, I’m just not convinced that it’s cost effective.  Please convince me to buy it and drink the cool-aid.


Jeffrey Trimble
Co-Interim Library Director
Associate Director &
Head of Information Services
William F.  Maag Library
Youngstown State University
330.941.2483 (Office)
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“The spice must flow...."

From: Jamie Sheppard <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 12:07 PM
To: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] A rant?

It's a good question. I'd like to offer my perspective as a photo archives student:

I'm very interested in the Bibframe initiative because MARC and AACR2 are mostly for bibliographic and printed works. The works themselves provide all the info needed for the records. However, the two fall incredibly short when working with visual works/resources, which rarely have accompanying text. 

Another bonus for Bibframe is that the focus appears to be on easily accessible information (online), as opposed to records located within a specific catalog/database. A patron, customer, researcher, etc... usually has to know in advance that a specific catalog/database/library contains the records they're looking for. However, linked data will allow for a user to find what they want by browsing.

Increased knowledge of and access to an institution's collections is always a good thing. 

I'm familiar with MARC, and I'm curious to see how the transition to Bibframe will affect, (and hopefully improve), access to printed materials information. 

Jamie P. Sheppard 

On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, Cindy Wolff <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Michael, thanks for writing that. It's not a rant. Labeling it a rant carries a built-in apology for what you wrote and no apology is needed. I don't think anyone in the cataloging profession can find the information locked inside without some knowledge of MARC. If we are going to have to transfer data from one schema and/or framework to another, we will have to know the older language before translating it into the new. I thought mapping of some kind would be necessary. New systems will not be able to spring from the head of Zeus fully formed- they will need to borrow data from the older structures. Some of that data is not necessary for display, but it is used internally by catalogers and others for reporting purposes. In addition to the library patron, the librarian also needs to utilize information in the catalog to support daily operations and special projects.
> "Why do the 'powers that be' think that we even want our local catalogs to be semantically connected to the web or have all of our data linked?" is a good question. We've been shamed into thinking that we need to look like any other retail delivery mechanism because it's what our "customers" expect. It's the research endeavor being shoe-horned into a business model, which favors the cheap, the easy, the popular. That's not how research discovery works. If we are linking to places that could go out of business and disappear, we are not being responsible to the research community. If we are linking to places that withhold data to limit access to content they don’t like or agree with, we are doing a disservice to our research community. If we are caught in the middle of a fight between 2 commercial giants and our researchers are denied access while they wrestle it out, research suffers. We are putting our trust in linking data maintained by businesses that could fold at any time for any reason or for no good reason. They don't have a responsibility or interest to maintain access for the sake of access- we do. We need a reliable back-up.
> Cindy Wolff