Can we kill off cataloging?

Traffic Safety, originally uploaded by kendrak.

This is pie in the sky navel gazing.

I could really use some pie.

This is a thought I’ve been having for a while and I know I’m not alone. I don’t really know how to articulate this into action yet (other than stopping cataloging all together, which I’m not advocating at this time)… but can we stop cataloging? Stop talking about catalogs and MARC records and RDA and all that stuff.

It’s holding us back.

Really, I had some hope for FRBR when I first learned about it. And I was optimistic about RDA. But now I’m just tired of it all. Tired of the domain experts (catalogers) continuing to use opaque language. Tired of acting like RDA is anything other than a clunky update to AACR2 which is pretty tardy to the party.

This is of course because most of what my researchers are interested are accessible through other venues than the catalog. The catalog is not the most relevant place.

This is also frustration from explaining again and again to well meaning colleagues that MARC records are metadata, but not all metadata is a MARC (or bib) record.

So let’s just focus on good metadata that isn’t so locked down and single use. Let’s also work better at discussing our issues in terms that people understand. This coded stuff needs to stop. I’m not sad to see these cards go the way of bench seats in cars.






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