Thursday, July 19, 2007

TS-SIS program: Resource Description and Access Roundtable

Midyear Update for Catalogers
Presenter: Kathy Winzer

When I volunteered to report on the RDA Roundtable, I did not realize that I really needed to have heard the initial report on the RDA in order to understand this session and give a good report. Being new to cataloging and having just attended Michael Gorman's session, I had some reactions to the information.

The purpose of this session was to report on changes made in Chapters 6-7 of the draft which refer to Legal Resources and to get feedback from members. The changes being reported were those made during the past year since the last report. Kathy Winzer did a good job reporting the changes, and it appears she is doing a great job in what must be a difficult situation.

I will not be listing out the changes (they are available in Kathy Winzer's handout). The feedback process is as follows:
  • Kathy enters the comments in the wiki
  • CC:DA has a week to go through them
  • Results are posted on the website
  • Kathy will create a table organized by rule # with comments

Questions and comments by attendees included the following:

  • Difficult to evaluate Chapters 6 and 7 until chapter 13 is available
  • How can one have standardization if use of access points are "optional" (JSC says relies on training of cataloger to know to do this)
  • Legal rules do not belong in this code -- should have general code with manual for legal and other specialized cataloging (A cottage industry of specialized manuals will spring up)
  • Response is frequently "training of catalogers" but many schools aren't offering cataloging anymore
  • Dumbing down what people are capable of doing
  • Doesn't easily go across languages

Michael Gorman attended this session and made it clear that his disagreement with the RDA approach was no reflection on Kathy Winzer since she was in a difficult position similar to his position in the past while working on AACR2. His comments were consistent with his view that although not perfect, AACR2 is the result of many years of refinement and provides access to materials which otherwise would not be located. He thinks that many of those who are objecting to the present system really do not understand the system and that catalogers should be very vigilant is making sure that others do understand what is a stake.

Before attending the RDS Roundtable and Michael Gorman's session, as a new cataloger I was open to constructive change and looking forward to assisting in improvements in some way. However, I am now concerned because I have have not heard anyone articulate the purpose of these changes and what I heard in the meeting alarmed me as the draft seems to be a less adequate version of AACR2.

However, it is an ongoing process and I intend to keep an open mind. If you have feedback, it is very important to email Kathy Winzer.

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