ALCTS Forum: FRBR, RDA and the Catalog of the Future

ALCTS Forum: FRBR, RDA and the Catalog of the Future

Barbara Tillett, Director of the LC Acquisitions and Bibliographic Directorate’s Policy and Standards Division (new name), gave her personal views on the future for FRBR and RDA. She favors “Scenario 1”, an object-oriented, linked-data, Semantic Web approach which would require new data structures and systems. She sees a future in which there are “no longer records, but description sets as DC community calls them” – so that machine applications can determine the FRBR level of descriptive elements, and work can be done once and shared all over the world in many kinds of applications. She wants more automated tools, vocabulary registries and validation to make description work easier and more efficient. She recognizes that compromises had to be made with RDA – it “carries over ‘case law’ from AACR2” – but hopes that the value of its new approaches will be recognized and that this will lead to further revisions. She noted experimentation with FRBR structures by OCLC, VTLS, and the National Libraries of Australia and Sweden, but “more is needed”.

Diane Vizine-Goetz of OCLC Research talked about OCLC’s user surveys (they want more subjects, tables of contents and summaries, and details) and OCLC’s current experimental work using OCLC’s FRBR clustering algorithms (building on Fiction Finder), to extract this kind of data along with classification and other elements and present it to users at higher level displays.

John Utley of VTLS described the FRBR clustering features of their Virtua product.

Robert McDonald, Assoc. Dean for Library Technologies at Indiana University, described the Open Library Environment Project. Specifications for interoperable library system components will be developed and implemented using Service Oriented Architecture. “Fortune 500’s say SOA is dead, but we think SOA design can work for us.” A core group of libraries are developing the specifications, but there will be many opportunities for participation for interested libraries of all types.

Report by Laura Akerman

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