On Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 8:22 AM, Jonathan Rochkind <rochk...@jhu.edu> wrote:


> I'd add that you should be open to accepting that some of those things STILL
> won't make sense once you know why librarians do things the way they do.


> .. but often where we are is really
> really unfortunate.  (And even many of us librarians don't entirely
> understand how we got here, if we're under a certain age!)

Totally agreed.  +1000

I'd hazard a jaded guess that things don't make sense for some other
reasons like: (a) building rules via multiple committees; (b) doing
things based on what catalogers *think* current users want ; (c) doing
things based on what end users did back in the era of card or
dictionary catalogs ; (d) failure to see forest for the trees (I once
listened to CC:DA debate punctuation rules in a 260 field for an hour.
Seriously.) and, (e) workarounds geared to past/current ILS which over
time have led to a culture of catalogers who conflate MARC field
content with display  (see comment re: punctuation).

It's rather unfortunate that the massive amount of legacy data means
we just can't scrap it all and start fresh.

Thanks again everybody for your comments.  Orientation is taking place
this afternoon and your feedback has been helpful.

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