The best from last November:
The archives of the Resource Description and Access mailing list (RDA being a FRBR-influenced set of rules for cataloguers to describe things in libraries) are now online. They’re not in a readable hypertext format, unfortunately, just one big text file per month which won’t open up in my mail reader. Nevertheless, if you absolutely need to check the archives, now you can.
Mike Rot posted Hierarchical Catalog Records (Article Review) last month; it’s a review of Hierarchical Catalog Records: Implementing a FRBR Catalog by David Mimno, Gregory Crane, and Alison Jones (D-Lib, October 2005).
Colleen Whitney posted to the code4lib mailing list yesterday: Question re: Ranking and FRBR. She asks, “In a retrieval environment that presents ranked results (ranked by record content, optionally boosted by circulation and/or holdings), how could/should FRBR-like record groupings be factored into ranking?” The whole thread is in the code4lib archives. Thom Hickey of OCLC says they add up all the holdings of all the manifestations of the given work. OCLC’s enormous WorldCat catalogue lets them to do things regular libraries can’t, and there’s more discussion about relevance rankings and, unavoidably, Google.
The Changing Nature of the Catalog and Its Integration with Other Discovery Tools (175 KB PDF), by Karen Calhoun of Cornell University Library, draft 2b, prepared for the Library of Congress.
You’ll want to read the whole thing, but here are the FRBR-related quotes cited in the report, taken from interviews with twenty-three leading people in the field. See page 34 of the report.
What needs to be part of catalog data to support FRBR catalogs, new kinds of delivery services, data mining, mass digitization, offsite storage, etc.? Libraries should be using their catalog data more aggressively, processing it more, and passing it around more.
We need FRBR to rethink where we are; I am not sure FRBR is the right solution but it is an attempt to address the right problem.
We should FRBRize our data. FRBR has a lot of potential; its structure is more like users think.
The catalog is being rethought in light of FRBR—people want to see clusters rather than long lists.
A FRBR view of collections by work is good; I’m a little nervous because it pushes catalogers into more content analysis.
A FRBRized display would allow us to more easily expand to add new types of resources. For example, flat MARC has never worked well for AV.
We can’t implement FRBR- like enhancements in the current metasearch environment.
I saw this mentioned on Catalogablog, and David Bigwood also links to a a critical analysis of the report (which doesn’t mention FRBR).
Here’s a presentation titled Showboating FRBR (And We Don’t Mean Edna!) (1.5 MB PDF). It’s done by someone from the OCLC Western Service Center, I think, but there’s no name and no date on it. It’s on the web site of the California Library Association so I assume it was given at a recent conference or meeting there. It looks like it was a good solid introduction to FRBR, with lots of examples based on Edna Ferber’s Show Boat. At the end there are some screenshots of possible future FRBRized FirstSearch interfaces and a poem, “The Cataloger’s Complaint,” by Patrick Le Boeuf. It’s a rare poem that mentions FRBR and ISBDs.
I found this because someone had tagged it with frbr with del.icio.us.
The Program for Cooperative Cataloging, “an international cooperative effort aimed at expanding access to library collections by providing useful, timely, and cost-effective cataloging that meets mutually-accepted standards of libraries around the world,” has a Standing Committee on Standards, which recently released their comments about the draft of Resource Description and Access. There are a few mentions of FRBR inside, but if you’re not interested in finicky details about cataloguing rules, avert your eyes.
Yann Nicolas, who wrote Folklore Requirements for Bibliographic Records: Oral Traditions and FRBR (Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 39 (3/4)), sent a pointer to the FRBR mailing list last week about TEF 2.0 – Thèses Electroniques de France (French Electronic Theses and Dissertations Metadata).
He said, “This metadata XML structure is based on a light conceptual model inspired by FRBR…. [W]e are working on an RDF encoding that will reuse Ian Davis’ and Richard Newman’s FRBR RDF schema.” It’s in French, but even if you don’t read French you’ll see from the illustrations what’s happening and how it’s FRBRy.
From How OPACs Suck, Part II: The Checklist of Shame, a blog post from Monday by Karen G. Schneider. The whole thing is worth reading, but I’ll just highlight one point:
Features Your OPAC Wishes It Had
Duplicate detection—This is an interesting search-engine feature to discuss for online catalogs. It raises the issue of FRBR (pronounced FER-ber)—Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records—which is, to be grossly reductive, duplicate management for online catalogs, so that a user isn’t stumped by five records for what is essentially the same item. But in a search engine, duplicate detection simply flags multiple records for the same item and ideally gives you control over how to handle search results when duplicates are detected.
A 2005 paper by Gao Hong in Chinese is available: FRBR Model and Its Influence on Bibliographic Control (148 KB PDF). I don’t read Chinese and don’t know where it was first published.
[English abstract] This paper gives a thorough introduction about FRBR from several facets, that is, the ideas and principles in Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, its influence on the cataloguing rules, then the paper puts that the traditional cataloging should be raised to“Object-Oriented Cataloging”, the cataloging objects should be the entity associated with user’s task.”