Following up on her UCLA Film and Television Archive OPAC announcement that I posted here on Wednesday (which includes some links to follow to learn more about her FRBR-related work), today Martha Yee answers the Four FRBR Questions!
When did you first hear about FRBR?
In the course of FRBR development (1992-1998), in order to help in filling out the tables in the back of FRBR that link FRBR entities to particular elements of the bibliographic description, the Study Group sent out a questionnaire to people in the field, and I was one of the people who was asked to fill out a questionnaire, in my case concerning moving image material. The definitions of the entities were still not clear, and I recall writing to ask for clarification before sending in my filled out questionnaire, and feeling afterwards that I had not understood the intended definition of “manifestation,” so had sent in erroneous information! But I can’t remember the year that questionnaire was sent out.
What’s your involvement with it now?
I try to follow developments from a distance and comment upon suggested changes when asked to do so, or given the opportunity to do so.
What’s one thing you think the FRBR world needs most?
Ability to be involved in the design of new and better catalog interface software from the ground up, as well as a world-wide effort to rethink the process of shared cataloging in this new era of the Internet. Could we design excellent standard catalog interface software to be used by everyone everywhere to access a single virtual catalog, the maintenance of which is shared by all catalogers everywhere? Much of what blocks our ability to implement FRBR effectively is essentially our current method of shared cataloging, which involves sharing atomized manifestation records in an environment of thousands of separate catalogs, with inefficient methods of coordinating what we call the FRBR entities across all catalogs.
What’s your one-line non-librarian description of FRBR?
A model for transforming records for the books published by publishers into displays of the entities that users actually seek: 1) works, which may have been published thousands of times under many different titles associated with many different variants of their author’s names; 2) persons and corporate bodies, which may be known by many different variants of their names; and 3) concepts discussed in works, which may have many synonyms, and which may be known by homonyms that also represent completely different concepts.
My thanks to Martha Yee for taking the time to answer the questions. She’s the fourth person in the Four FRBR Questions series; the other three are: