Trust the Force – Weekly Response Post #4, Elizabeth Frank

I found the tone in “Resource Description and Access” by Coyle and Hillman to be laced with an almost adolescent level of grumpiness as they fussed at some unnamed foe (“the way things are now,” perhaps?) for their “legacy approaches,” “unexamined assumptions,” and methods which “support backwards compatibility rather than forward thinking.” They assert that “current methods are not sufficient.” I am presuming “current” refers to 2006, when the article was presumably written (if not earlier) as it was published early in 2007. Current cataloging methods, authors Coyle and Hillman assert, were “not suitable for resources that existed in a state of constant change.”

Maybe not but, to quote Darth Vader, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Cataloguing is adaptive. That’s why there are so many forms of it for various institutions. If AACR2 (which seems to have hurt the authors very badly, maybe something happened freshman year) isn’t suitable for the Internet, someone else will be developed which is. Relax, it’s only 2006.
The authors later assert “A complex metadata surrogate describing resources in detail is unneeded when the actual item can be viewed within a few seconds and with little effort on the part of the user.” Which would be true if “viewing” and “access” were the only point of cataloguing.

Moving on to “If It’s Televised, It Can’t Be the Revolution,” Tennant (who seems to feel about MARC as Coyle and Hillman do about AACR2) is discouraged about the lack of “shared clarity” he found at a recent meeting of the National Information Standards Organization, which failed to define a “future bibliographic information ecosystem.”

“The New User Environment: The End of Technical Services,” rather than despairing that current cataloging methods are not sufficient, at least outlines a framework for one which would be. It’s interesting to me that he quoted from Weinberger’s Everything is Miscellaneous, because Weinberger authored an article on Linked Open Data, which is my group project and which may or may not be the solution to all this fuss.


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