Weekly Response #5: Emily Moyer

Although I am still a little fuzzy about the conceptual nature of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), I believe Barbara Tillet’s article has moved me slightly closer to understanding the enigma that is FRBR (I have also realized that I dislike acronyms). I now understand the difference between a described “item” and “manifestation.” However, once we get to “expression” and “work,” things get murky. Thomas Baker’s article adds even more confusion to the matter when he discusses the rigidity of the FRBR Model and how “describing a creator or subject, for example, implies the existence of a work.” Therefore, the relationships between the WEMI (work, expression, manifestation, item) entities as resources is inferred. He asks, “Should the non-FRBR-based description of a book, for example, be considered comparable to the description of a work, an expression, a manifestation, or an item?” because “it cannot be considered comparable to more than one without violating the laws of the conceptual universe delineated in the FRBR ontology.” For now I am going to follow the Library of Congress (LOC) dubious stance on the model: “FRBR must be seen as a theoretical model whose practical implementation and its attendant costs are still unknown.”

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