Weekly response #2 – Valerie Ramshur


This systems seems very complicated. Maybe it is a “learn by doing” type of system- that when one reads  the “what ” of it, it tends to  boggle the mind. However sitting down to the “how” of it  – it would make sense.  When I read “In the MARC record, 10% of the tags are used over and over, and the other 90% are seen only occasionally or rarely.”  I question a system that seems so complicated to learn and yet you use so little of it- like one’s brain. And yet would not replacing MARC or MARC21 – with another program or language create the same issues? Is XML so much easier?

MARC Must Die  By Roy Tennant

The discussion of how MARC is no longer helpful or relevant was interesting to me. Truth be told, the whole topic of MARC has my head spinning a bit.  The Idea of marginalization and outmoded usage coupled with complexity sounds like this is no longer helpful to cataloguers and the general public “…we are limited to the niche market of library vendors. For their part, vendors must design systems that can both take in and output records in MARC format. “By moving toward XML, the vendors will likely find it both easier and cheaper to produce the products we require.”

Mostly I deeply believe the idea that “Libraries exist to serve the present and future needs of a community of users… If libraries cling to outdated standards, they will find it increasingly difficult to serve their clients as they expect and deserve.” That is what I find a hot topic to discuss. The use of the library and the community it serves.


About Valerie R.

Head of Costume Design, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Freelance Professional Costume Designer, and Archivist.

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