I’m not quite as offended as Chris Schwartz is about the statements made by Chris Oliver in her Changing to RDA article – maybe because I haven’t read it – or the RDA draft, but I wanted to chime in anyway 😉
Chris Oliver says:
The standard is designed to be easy to use and to generate records that contain data that is relevant and important to users.
And Chris Schwartz answers:
Aside from the fact that the last 3 RDA drafts are anything but “easy to use”, we are told that we will be creating “records that contain data that is relevant and important to users.” Sorry, but I think we’re already doing that.
Are we really? I know we’re trying to, but with so many silly rules holding us back how can we? In the last 5 months I’ve been shocked to find the variety in subject headings available (did you know that there is one for religious aspects of nursing? I was amazed to find that one – but it took me a good 15 minutes to do so), but I keep coming back to things I’ve heard in LibraryThing presentations regarding the headings for Bridget Jones’ Diary (Jones, Bridget (Fictitious character)–Fiction. Single women–Fiction. England–Fiction.) and Neuromancer (Computer hackers–Fiction. Business intelligence–Fiction. Information superhighway–Fiction. Nervous system–Wounds and injuries–Fiction. Conspiracies–Fiction. Japan–Fiction.).
Now, I doubt that RDA is going to solve this problem – but my argument is that we’re so bogged down with rules set years ago that we’re not always providing our users with the best access to the items they’re looking for – no matter how hard we try!
So – who’s side was I taking here? No one’s – I just get frustrated once in a while because I do want to provide users with the best access to information, but I’m boxed in by a binder that’s heavier than my dog and a listing of god knows how many subject headings!