Brian Campbell called my attention to this recorded lecture by Francis Miksa. It’s well worth the hour and a half it takes to listen to it (and I probably kept Hal awake doing so).
After a fascinating detailed history (which establishes that nothing is new under the sun in terms to predicting the end of cataloguing), he turns to the advocacy of classification as an approach to the organization of knowledge, which Google type searches with its granularity can’t do. He calls for multiple class numbers (as well as multiple classification systems), but does not mention one of the major advantages of the classed catalogue – the possibility of indexing in a variety of languages.
While giving lip service to international usage, RDA if becoming much more parochial than AACR2. Rather than fiddling around with description (which isn’t doing too badly), developing alternate modes of organizing and searching informational sources might be a better way to go.
I need to find time this weekend to listen – maybe on the 3 hour drive to West Virginia (or the 1.5 hour drive to Maryland) where we might find a sibling for Coda.