>From: Resource Description and Access / Resource Description and Access 
>[mailto:RDA-L@LISTSERV.LAC-BAC.GC.CA] On Behalf Of James Weinheimer
>Sent: December-11-13 6:22 AM
>Subject: Re: [RDA-L] Automatically adding relationship designators (was Cost 
>of Retrospective Conversion for Legacy Data...)

>On 12/10/2013 8:52 PM, Kyrios, Alex (akyr...@uidaho.edu) wrote:
>James, would it be too cynical of me to summarize your position as "Our data 
>isn't good enough, so why bother improving it?" Is it wrong to hope that a 
>catalog can do more than help someone locate >an item on a shelf?

>When you went to a library in the past where all the librarians had done their 
>jobs in a professional manner (and had high morale!), the public saw what I 
>described above, even though they were >probably not aware of it. The 
>information the public got wasn't necessarily always the "best" information or 
>the "newest" or today's strange idea of the "most relevant"--but the library 
>always >offered something different. What people found in a library was also 
>not the FRBR user tasks, which in the past was only one type of a 
>*method*--and LOTS of people complained loudly about that >method from the 
>beginning and were happy when it bothered them no more. With earlier 
>technology however, there was little room for flexibility and genuine 
>cooperation. Today, there are >*many* methods in addition to the FRBR user 
>tasks that lead to the same goals I laid out above.

Why are you repeating your egregious misinterpretation of FRBR? FRBR is not 
Find-Identify-Select-Obtain by author, title, subject headings.

If I "select" a book because it won the Booker Prize then I am engaging in one 
of the FRBR user tasks. The user tasks apply to the entire spectrum of 
attributes and relationships-- not just the ones found and implemented in 
traditional catalogs through the heading structure. In addition, the 
entity-relationship model can be applied to many other data systems used in 
libraries. For example, the circulation module in my system is a feature-rich 
implementation of entity-relationship principles that if anything showcases how 
much the potential of the data locked in AACR2-MARC records lies untapped.

In addition, the other user tasks in FRAD and FRSAD will likely be incorporated 
into a single Functional Requirements model, and these altogether will apply to 
bibliographic "data" of all kinds and not just "records." The last "R" of FRBR 
will be replaced by a "D" for data, as it already has in FRAD and FRSAD. The 
user tasks apply to every single entity, every single attribute or bit of data, 
and every single relationship (even those not implemented in traditional 

It is so remarkable that these basic facts are glaringly absent in your posts, 
and yet not surprising since many of your cited sources are to your own blog 
posts and podcasts.

For example, in emphasizing the power of free text searching in your blog post, 
why would not that same power be brought to bear on the topic at hand-- 
retrospective conversion?

If the technology is so "incredible" then how is it that some problems are then 
so insurmountable that we should give up?

>From you blog post -- "it is the reliance on alphabetical order that has 
>become obsolete in our new environment" indicates that your interpretation of 
>FRBR is incorrect as FRBR and RDA are not just repeating the alphabetical 
>structure of traditional catalogs. Notably in RDA, the instructions for 
>authorized access points (the equivalent to headings) are relegated to 
>second-class citizen status by being put at the back of chapters, after 
>discrete data elements are covered (with the expectation that these discrete 
>data elements, along with new forms of controlled identifiers which are always 
>emphasized first in RDA, will become the primary operative pieces in catalogs 
>in the future).

Thomas Brenndorfer
Guelph Public Library 

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