Good answer, Cindy.  I think the general case is that people tend to want only 
the information they want-nothing more, nothing less.  And for each person, 
that specific information is going to be different.

But Mac's comment gets at the most pervasive misunderstanding of FRBR, a 
misunderstanding that hinders its acceptance.  FRBR is *not* about user 
displays.  At all.  When you see the following illustration in FRBR:

w1 Charles Dickens' A Christmas carol
e1 the author's original English text
e2 a Tamil translation by V. A. Venkatachari

it has nothing to do with an OPAC record display.  It is *not* saying that when 
you display "A Christmas carol" in the OPAC, under that title you have an entry 
for the original English text, then one for the Tamil translation, etc., and 
force the user to see all of these related resources that most of them have no 
interest in at all.

What it's saying is that the bibliographic data relate in this way:  the 
original English text is an expression of the original work; the Tamil 
translation is another expression of that same work.  Armed with that 
understanding of the relationships, we can then work on improving the 
bibliographic metadata and the discovery systems to help users better find the 
resources they're after.  But the way things are presented to the user are 
*entirely outside the scope of the FRBR report*!

A fully "FRBR-aware" system might give the user something that has only the 
following details:

                Charles Dickens
                A Christmas carol

And then tabs or buttons below, or menu choices on the side, or whatever, that 
say things like:

                Print versions
                Electronic versions
                Sound recordings
                Other language editions
                Theater adapations
                Movie adaptations

And when you make those selections, you are taken to those related resources.

And this is exactly the direction that developments seem to be going.  It's the 
basic concept at commercial web sites at Amazon, Best Buy, etc.  Anyone denying 
that this is "FRBR in action" totally misunderstands what FRBR is.

Kevin M. Randall
Principal Serials Cataloger
Northwestern University Library<>
(847) 491-2939

Proudly wearing the sensible shoes since 1978!

From: Resource Description and Access / Resource Description and Access 
[mailto:RDA-L@LISTSERV.LAC-BAC.GC.CA] On Behalf Of Cindy Wolff
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 3:23 PM
Subject: Re: [RDA-L] FRBR

"If I want an English translation of a work, why would I want to

know about the original and other translations?"

I think the operative word here is "I". What if

someone else wants to know, either a researcher or a library staff member

doing collection development?

The catalog serves many purposes

for many types of users on many levels, which makes it hard to fit into a

retail model of "I want it, here it is." The catalog is part of

the research process in addition to being a delivery mechanism.

Cindy Wolff

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