Roy Tennant- MARC must die

After reading about MARC and feeling really confused as to how to read and understand MARC records, I found this article to be very enjoyable. I think it is really important to have a standard way to share bibliographic information between libraries. However, it seems MARC is unnecessarily complicated and outdated.

I am interested to learn more about the newer methods, such as XML, that Tennant mentioned in his article. A simpler and more user-friendly method would serve users well.


One thought on “Roy Tennant- MARC must die

  1. According to the Library of Congress, a MARC record is a Machine-Readable Catalog record that a COMPUTER can read and interpret. Needless to say, not many of us will be called on to enter the necessary data or for that matter interpret the coding. Over the years, the original LC MARC evolved into MARC 21, and is currently used by most libraries.

    However, if you work in an elementary, high school or academic library you would order the books through a distributor such as Follett, Baker and Taylor etc. The books will be sent “shelf ready” and all you have to do is download the MARC records that are sent via the Internet. The MARC records have been created by people who are experts in this field because it is their job.

    I found Tannent’s article “MARC Must Die” not very persuasive. Firstly, we shall never have to “refer to a stack of manuals” for our MARC records. Secondly, the comments he made about the Beatles and the embarrassing clothes of their time were unnecessary, especially as they are “all the rage” at the moment.

    Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles!
    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
    Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
    Now through May 10, 2014

    As for “those on hard drugs” no doubt they will think that a MARC record is a new technology gadget that they need to purchase as soon as possible.

    It appears that Tannent believes that it should always be “out with the old and in with the new”, never taking into consideration the logistics and expenses association with transferring MARC into XML. What happens if someone writes a program that is far superior to XML. Do we change in midstream?

    In addition, he has made no reference to the fact that after many years of research, the Library of Congress has begun formatting records in the R.D.A. standard.

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