Katherine M: Weekly Response Post 4

Roy Tennant’s posts written as a follow up to “MARC Must Die” begin with a sensationalist tone but promise to weed out concrete issues in systems of bibliographic information exchange.  This series was prompted by his attention to conversation about ways libraries can and should adopt the advanced technologies which will are currently creating our the future.

The second post was less exciting and outlines a very basic problem I am familiar with as a database manager for a non-profit. He gripes about the inconsistencies of MARC data input through free text fields — even when fields are specific about what needs to be entered.  Among other reasons, this is frustrating because it will cause incorrect data to be returned when a query is posed, which makes records unmanageable. I couldn’t help but wonder though if this could be alleviated with applied predictive coding, and why Tennant didn’t suggest any forward-thinking option.

“Resource Description and Access (RDA)”, written by Karen Coyle and Diane Hillman, frames the base of Tennant’s argument in a much more comprehensive, though also more lucid, way.  To begin, it is acknowledged that “rapidly evolving information resources are changing user behavior,” and “the goal of the analysis should be to mold the user service of the future.” The breakdown of why RDA is failing considers its historical use in contrast to today’s library patrons.  Both address a need for change while stating how this will be a complex evolution.


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