Thursday, April 2, 2009

More webinar fun

I started viewing the Library of Congress's webcasts for librarians after Yvonne emailed me to let me know about Life Beyond MARC. I watched that one - I was relieved to see that it did not advocate abandoning MARC, as I have always felt that MARC isn't nearly as useless as some people say it is, it just isn't utilized very well by most integrated library systems. I see and code so much information in our library's bibliographic records that is never used in our OPAC - not for limiting, searching, or even necessarily for keyword searching (this last one was a surprise to me, since I had just sort of assumed that everything in a variable field was keyword searchable - I've learned quite a bit by talking to Tracy). I find this frustrating, but I continue to code and check "useless" information in the hope and expectation that our ILS (or whatever ILS we may use in the future) will start using this information.

After watching that webcast, I watched Cataloging Principles and RDA. It sounded nice, but it still strikes me as odd that the updated cataloging principles were developed and released after work on RDA had already begun. Indeed, RDA is supposedly almost ready for use (I say "supposedly" because I am one of the catalogers who believes RDA still needs a lot of work). Shouldn't you establish principles and then use those to inform the development of rules?

Well, there are still plenty of Library of Congress webcasts to view/listen to, so I think I'll continue working through the list. Although the webcasts come with visuals, I've found that they're still fairly comprehensible, even if all I'm doing is listening to the audio as I catalog.

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