What if we gave a standard and nobody came? First of all, have we even given a 
standard? Seems a standard like a ruler, is where a foot is 12 inches, not 
sometimes 11, a day 24 hours, not sometimes more. It is something unchanging, 
at least for a considerable period of time, something to be measured by, not 
something full of options, alternatives, and catalogers judgment; full of 
proposals, revisions, ambiguities.
Yes, we do have a joint steering committee of the few, many experts of the old 
school and new, and many more just plain catalogers eager to learn and 
practice. We have rulers of the temporal and temporary flesh and blood kind who 
have so far failed to come up with a stable standard. Whether anyone will come 
is anyone's guess; perhaps we will find that out soon enough. 
Jack Wu
Franciscan University of Steubenville

>>> James Weinheimer <weinheimer.ji...@gmail.com> 12/4/2013 6:05 AM >>>
On 04/12/2013 9.56, Bernhard Eversberg wrote:
> 03.12.2013 21:58, Cindy Wolff:
>> This is what I have been thinking about for a
>> while as I read these discussions:
>> What if we gave a standard and nobody came, but some other powerful, 
>> oblivious standard came for us?
> What concerns us here is only a very small corollary of the big issue: 
> access to the knowledge of cataloging. That access used
> to be easy: you bought an affordable book, or borrowed it from a 
> library, and then maybe a textbook explaining what it all meant.
> These times are over. To get the whole story, you need to pay an 
> annual fee or buy a not very affordable stack of paper giving
> less than the whole story and obsolescing rapidly. Certainly, 
> textbooks are in the making or have already appeared on the scene.
> Partly, these may be collectiong knowledge that has been discussed and 
> openly contributed to this list or AUTOCAT. Laudable endeavors,
> but by now, sooo 19th century, or not? And then, actually supporting a 
> monopoly that should not exist in the first place, and a standard
> that hasn't proved to match a business case yet.

In addition to this it needs to be said that other standards are out 
there and developing. For instance, if you want your bibliographic 
records to go into Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. it has already been 
decided: you must use schema.org microdata. Those companies already 
turned down OAI-PMH, and I honestly don't know if or why they would 
change their minds when (if) Bibframe comes out. RDA and FRBR are 
certainly not a part of their "information universes" in any way at all. 
I am not sure whether schema.org is any real solution for libraries or 
not, but it is certainly worth a try.

The main reason that it isn't enough is: after you get your records into 
the Googles, those records *must* come up in the top 3 or at most 10 
hits--otherwise, nobody will ever see them and the records may as well 
not exist. That means getting into SEO (search engine optimization) and 
libraries are absolute babes-in-the-wood when it comes to that 
cut-throat business. That is a competition libraries can only lose. 
Still, getting the records into the Googles can't actually hurt 
libraries and something good may come out of it so long as we don't 
expect too much.

But, if I had to make decisions for a *non-library* institution for what 
to do with our institution's metadata, would I prefer RDA/FRBR, which is 
semi-incoherent, expensive, difficult to implement and has yet to prove 
any advantages, or would I rather choose schema.org, which is easier, 
clearer and cheaper, so that I then could put my efforts into SEO?

So, non-library organizations have lots and lots of choices at their 
disposal. It's only the libraries that seem to have none at all....

James Weinheimer weinheimer.ji...@gmail.com
First Thus http://catalogingmatters.blogspot.com/
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Cooperative Cataloging Rules 
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