原文链接:Getting There
by Diane I. Hillmann, November 2008, Published in Technicalities, Jan./Feb. 2009

I do a lot of traveling around, talking about where cataloging is going and what catalogers need to do to prepare for present and future change, and listening to cataloger’s concerns. Wherever I go, I still get a lot of questions about RDA’s future. Is RDA really going to happen? Didn’t the LC Bib Control Working Group recommend that it be suspended? The answer to both those questions is “yes,” although naturally there’s more than that simple answer to consider as we think about what it’s going to take to “get there,” wherever we think “there” is. I’m going to expand on those “yes” answers a bit, talk about where “there” might be, and make some suggestions about why we might want to go, and consider some impediments we might encounter.

我游遍世界各地,经常谈论编目的未来、以及编目员应该如何应对未来的话题,同时倾听编目人员的反应。我发现无论我走到哪里,总会被问到有关RDA的未来的 问题:RDA真的能弄出来吗?美国国会馆书目控制工作组不是已经建议中止RDA的工作了?我对这两个问题的回答都是:是的。当然,每次的回答都不会这么简 单,总要涉及:不论我们的“彼岸”在何处,在到达彼岸的路途中,会发生些什么。在这里,我将把我的回答扩展一些,谈谈“彼岸”在哪里,我们应该做些什么, 我们为什么要做,以及会有哪些拦路虎在我们前头。

First, the simple part: the LC Working Group certainly did suggest that RDA be suspended, citing the lack of use cases and business cases for its development. [1] During presentations about the recommendations at least one of the TF members admitted that part of the reason for the recommendation was a concern by the group that the Library of Congress was being unrealistic about scheduling implementation of RDA immediately after its publication, and they felt that they needed to provide a reason to revisit that decision. To a certain extent they met that goal, and a testing regime is scheduled for next year, led by the Library of Congress. But the recommendation to suspend development was explicitly rejected by LC, in a statement released in May, and the RDA development process didn’t even hiccup. [2]

首先,最简单的部分:国会图书馆工作组确实建议中止RDA的工作,声称开发RDA缺乏充分的应用案例(use cases)和业务需求(business cases) [1] 。该小组不止一位成员在介绍剪报中提到,之所以有这个建议,是因为担心人们不切实际地认为美国国会图书馆将在RDA发布之后立即着手应用实 施,该小组认为他们应该重新审视一下这个决定。他们也确实从某种程度上这样做了,打算明年组建一个测试小组,由国会图书馆领衔。但是这个“中止RDA”的 建议明确地被国会图书馆拒绝了。从5月份美国国会图书馆、医学图书馆和农业图书馆发布的一份联合声明可以看出,RDA的开发甚至连个嗝都不打,继续向前推进。 [2]

By the time this column hits print, the RDA worldwide review process will have begun, based on the final PDF version (problems with the web-based tool have prevented review using that, unfortunately). This review, which has been widely announced, will (I hope) convince those who haven’t yet gotten the message that, yes, RDA is going to happen; is indeed happening. But another fact that isn’t widely understood is that the text of instructions embedded in the online tool is not the only part of RDA that is already happening.

当本文付梓时,RDA的定稿在全球范围内征求意见的活动将要开始(利用Web征求意见的工具可能还无法提供),这个活动已经广而告之,我希望能够提供充分 的证据说明,RDA不是必将发生,而是已经发生。这里有另一个情况很多人并不知晓,这就是网上发布的RDA文字并不是RDA的全部,还有更多的正在发生。

The other part of RDA RDA的另一半

In the current library environment, information created using AACR2 rules is generally expressed using MARC 21 encoding. One interesting point is that catalogers speak to one another in MARC, using tagging shorthand to express their ideas about bibliographic data. It’s my theory that a trained cataloger has a brain that’s wired according to MARC, and it might also be said that AACR2 is embedded as well, though we rarely speak in terms of rule numbers (serialists are perhaps the exception that proves the rule). This “total brain immersion” makes moving away from MARC a wrenching change for most catalogers.

当今图书馆以AACR2规则编目的记录一般都是以MARC21格式编码,一个有趣的现象是编目人员彼此之间谈到编目数据,满口都是MARC的缩略语。我的 理论是,每一个训练有素的编目员尽管很少说的出第几条规则(连续出版编目员或许除外),但是都有一个被MARC电过的大脑,或者说AACR2嵌入脑中。这 种“彻底脑沁润”使得大多数编目员一离开MARC就惶惶不可终日。

In the beginning of the RDA development process, the JSC and others took great care to reassure the community that MARC would survive, that RDA could be expressed using MARC, and we shouldn’t worry about that. MARBI (the MARC standards advisory body) entertained some small proposals to make adjustments to MARC to accommodate RDA, feeding deep denial on the part of those in the cataloging community that fervently hoped that RDA would not require a move to something other than MARC. This was true even as each RDA revision continued to express more explicitly its underlying FRBR model, a model that is not currently accommodated in the MARC record.

RDA刚起步时,JSC等组织还小心翼翼地向同行保证MARC的存在,承诺RDA将能以MARC形式存在,我们不必担心。MARBI(MARC标准的咨询 机构)时不时弄几个小的改进以使MARC适应RDA,同时坚决回绝编目社区中期望使RDA远离MARC的蠢动。直到RDA的更新版越来越转向明确地采用基 于FRBR的模型,而正是这个模型开始与MARC背道而驰。

But the fantasy started to unravel a bit in April/May 2007 when the JSC agreed to work with DCMI to accelerate the development of formal representations of the RDA elements, making RDA records more compatible with web technologies. Later in 2007 the JSC reorganized the rules yet again and used the FRBR entities as the organizing principle, thus moving RDA further from the flat world of MARC encoding. At that point, the JSC started to get a bit more real about the prospects for MARC encoded RDA records, developing three possible scenarios for RDA implementation. [4] Once the cat was out of the bag, and it became permissible to discuss the idea that MARC was not going to carry libraries into the future. The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control drove the final nails into the coffin by recommending:

转机出现于2007年四、五月 间,JSC同意与DCMI合作,加速其RDA元素形式化表达的开发。这使得RDA记录融于Web技术中。2007年晚些时候JSC再次重新组织了编目规 则,采用FRBR实体作为组织原则,这就使RDA进一步脱离了MARC编码的平面表达(,而进入FRBR的立体世界)。此时,JSC开始更加现实地认识到 以MARC表达RDA记录的前景,提出了三种实现RDA的可能情境[4]。天机一旦泄露,人们谈论图书馆的“后MARC”时代就不再是禁忌,国会图书馆未来编目 控制工作组的如下建议(为MARC的安乐死)钉上了最后一枚钉子:

“ LC: Recognizing that Z39.2/MARC are no longer fit for the purpose, work with the library and other interested communities to specify and implement a carrier for bibliographic information that is capable of representing the full range of data of interest to libraries, and of facilitating the exchange of such data both within the library community and with related communities.”
“ LC: 认识到 Z39.2/MARC已无法满足这个目标,与图书馆或其他相关社区合作,为书目信息寻求新的表达载体(carrier),以覆盖所有图书馆馆藏的数据类型 ,并提供图书馆行业内外进行数据交换的能力。”

The good news is that this “other part of RDA” is indeed the first steps in building such a “carrier,” and work is well underway. The DCMI/RDA Task Group (chaired by me and Gordon Dunsire, from the University of Strathclyde), an outgrowth of the meeting between the JSC and DCMI in 2007, has been working since that meeting to develop the formal representation of the elements, roles and value vocabularies in RDA, which can be used in either an XML or RDF encoding to “carry” RDA information between applications, and from there to users. [5]

这里所谈的“RDA的另一半”只 是好消息的开始,建立上述“表达载体”是第一步工作,更多的正在如期开展。DCMI/RDA工作组(我Diane Hillmann和Strathclyde大学的Gordan Dunsire任主席)是2007年JSC和DCMI会议后水到渠成的产物,已经提出了RDA的属性元素形式化表达、(责任者)角色和取值词表,可以提供 具体的应用程序之间,或应用程序与用户之间以XML或RDF编码“表达”RDA信息 [5]。

Critical Mass 临界质量

The term “critical mass” originally came from the world of physics, where it was originally defined as the amount of fissionable material needed to maintain a fission chain reaction. It’s since been adopted as a more general term, “the minimum amount (of something) required to start or maintain a venture.” [6] What does critical mass mean in terms of RDA, and in particular the RDA Vocabularies? When and how will critical mass be achieved? At the moment there is still doubt in some quarters that it will ever be achieved, but it’s difficult to tell whether this is wishful thinking or just a failure to track or understand the development process—for both parts of RDA.

“临界质量”一词来自物理学,原意为发生裂变链式反应所需的最少质量,后引申为更为宽泛的“成就或维持某项事物所需的最低数量”之意 [6] 。对于RDA(特别是 RDA词表)来说“临界质量”意味着什么呢?何时能达到“临界质量”?目前依然有人在阴暗的角落里怀疑所需的临界质量是否能够达到,从RDA两个部分的当 前进展来看,目前的确还很难说是充满希望,还是等待失败。

Clearly there’s been a significant investment in the portion of RDA that most people know about: the textual guidance (formerly called “cataloging rules”)–most of it by ALA Editions and the other publishing entities brought together to “publish” RDA. The current plan is to accomplish that last step by bringing out an online product that will provide useful access to the RDA text by a wide range of users, in an equally wide range of situations. Over the several years of development, shifts in the environment in which RDA is being built and used have created a certain amount of upheaval in the business plan for the online product (some folks still want something printed as well), but at this stage, there’s not much question that it will be published, unveiled, released, or whatever you want to call it, sometime in the summer of 2009.

众所周知,人们在RDA指南文本的写作(即以前所称的“编目规则”)方面已经投入了大量的精力,这方面主要是由ALA编委会和其他RDA出版机构共同负责 的。目前的计划是实现最后一步:推出网络产品,向各类用户、以各种方式提供同样方便的RDA文本的网络存取服务。经过数年的开发,(RDA的应用)环境发 生了(深刻)变化,RDA的建设和使用越来越多地需要以网络产品的形式进行(当然也有同行依然希望以印刷形式提供)。总之,RDA将能够在2009年夏季 获得出版、推出、发行…随便你怎么说都行,已经是(板上钉钉、)毫无疑问的事情了。

In the case of the “other part” of RDA, work has going on for some time, supported in part by funding by Siderean Software and the British Library. In addition to the funded portion there has been a significant amount of volunteer effort expended to bring these formal representations to their current point and manage the discussions around them. Right now you can see the results on the NSDL Registry, and I would urge everyone to take a look at these and ask questions of you have them. [7, 8, 9, 10] These all have the status of “new-proposed” largely because a process for ensuring that there is the necessary congruence between the textual RDA and the registered vocabularies has not yet been determined. We know there are issues–some of them in fact have been surfaced by the process of entering terms, but the NSDL Registry was built to support the management of vocabularies over time by using version control and storing all historical data, and can handle appropriately the kinds of changes that will inevitably happen as experience teaches us what we need to know.

至于RDA的“另一半”,工作已经进行了一段时间,并部分得到Siderean软件公司、大英图书馆的资助。同时也通过志愿者将目前提出的形式化表达付诸 应用并进行讨论,而从中得益。NSDL注册系统就是一个应用的结果,我在此呼吁大家看一下这个系统并尽可能提出你们的宝贵意见[7, 8, 9, 10] 。这些标注了“新建议”状态的内容都需要一个处理过程,以确保注册的术语词表能够与RDA文本部分保持一致。这个处理过程还没有最终确定下来。我们知道肯 定还有很多问题,其中一些是由输入术语的过程中产生的,但NSDL注册系统就是为支持词表管理而建立的,包括长期的版本控制、保存所有的历史数据、并支持 所有可能的修改,历史经验告诉我们,适当的修改肯定是不可避免的。

Risks & Opportunities 风险与机会

I suspect that one of the reasons that we don’t know how to figure out how critical mass will be reached with both parts of RDA is that there’s still a large swath of the community that doesn’t understand either the necessity for the changes embedded in these two efforts, nor the risks that resisting these changes represent for the library community. Understanding is increasing, thanks to people like Karen Coyle, who has been a major contributor to the registration process and has spent uncountable hours answering questions and responding to concerns on a variety of library discussion lists. Library technical folks have been quicker to understand the value of this effort and have assisted in clarifying how the vocabularies will be used.

以愚之见,我们之所以会漠视RDA两个部分达到临界质量的重要性,原因之一是,我们的社区中依然有一茬一茬的人至今即不明白变革的必要性,又不原意承担阻 碍变革所带来的风险。当然,理解正在达成,我们应该感谢像Karen Coyle之类的学者,她对于术语注册贡献良多,又花费大量时间和精力,热心于回答各类问题,并回复图书馆讨论组中的相关帖子。图书馆的技术酒徒们常常能 够更快地理解这类努力的价值并帮助澄清词表的应用方法。

Another reason that critical mass is hard to define is that there has been an astonishing silence on the part of arguably the most important player in this environment–OCLC–concerning their plans to implement RDA. Some commentators have seen this lack of attention as reason for doubting that RDA will ever happen, and certainly it is troubling given that transforming the library community’s legacy records into a new RDA package without OCLC’s participation will be difficult, though not impossible. But how should we interpret the bald fact that nothing has been said by OCLC, as far as I know, about the RDA work that has been in development for four years, and engaged the community as thoroughly as RDA has done?

临界质量难以确定的另一个原因是:这个领域中据称是最重量级的成员——OCLC在是否应用RDA方面令人吃惊的沉默。有人说这种冷漠是因为(OCLC)对 RDA能否最终推出心存疑虑,显然如果没有OCLC的参与,图书馆界大量的遗留数据是否能转换为RDA形式将存在很大的疑问,这样的话RDA的应用即便并 非不可能,也是非常困难的。但是RDA的工作已经进行了4年,业界已投入了大量的热情和劳动,我们又如何解释(作为图书馆联合体的)OCLC如此一言不发 的明目张胆的事实呢?

What we do hear from Dublin, Ohio is largely about OCLC’s current attempt to protect itself (largely unsuccessfully, in my opinion) from the very sharp criticism coming from its members in regards to its new policy for the use and transfer of WorldCat records. Much of the criticism points out, rightly I believe, that the policy severely limits the ability of members to control the reuse of their own records outside of the OCLC membership–almost all control in this policy regime is held in the hands of OCLC itself. Consider for a moment, the effect that these two factors–OCLC’s seeming lack of interest in or planning for RDA, and their attempt to prevent member libraries from sharing their records outside of WorldCat, except for “blessed” commercial entities like Google, might have in preventing the RDA effort from achieving critical mass, given their control over the legacy MARC data. Consider also the problem this creates for libraries intending to move sooner rather than later into a more innovative mode for the future, switching from a legacy ILS to either a new product from their vendor, an open source or locally developed solution or some combination. Let’s say that they want to use this opportunity to transform their legacy data to RDA, and the sleeping giant either makes no such services available or the service is either inadequate or pricey, and they want to consider other options, including other commercial options, for this work. It’s not clear to me, from my reading of the policy or indeed my own cynicism about OCLC’s motivations in developing such a policy, that any such service would be able to co-exist or thrive in competition with any service OCLC might build, or even in the absence of such services from OCLC.

我们确实从俄亥俄的都柏林听说了一些事情,主要是OCLC即将生效的WorldCat数据利用和转换规定引发了其成员的激烈批评,而企图进行自我保护(以 愚之见,其保护是很不成功的)(译者注:最新消息是OCLC已经推迟了其新政策的生效时间,承诺将重新审查)。批评的焦点在于,这个新政策严格限制了其成 员馆在OCLC之外控制和重用其数据的权利,即:一切权利归OCLC。试想一下:OCLC缺乏应用或部署RDA的兴趣,同时又阻止其成员馆向OCLC之外 共享数据(除非“恩赐”谷歌之类的商业机构使用),将导致RDA的应用永远无法达到临界质量,只要它一直控制着MARC格式的遗留数据。我们考虑一下以下的问题:图书馆理应尽早做好准备,面对未来更加富于创新精神,升级其管理系统,或采用开源软件甚至自行开发解决方案,于是他们希望转换遗 留数据到RDA格式,而那个沉睡的巨人要么不提供这类服务,要么服务不合用,价格又昂贵,迫使图书馆考虑其它的选择,例如采用商业服务。目前OCLC的政 策 至少对我而言是动机不明的,不知他们葫芦里卖的什么药。

Let me be clear–OCLC should definitely be planning and talking openly about such legacy transformation services and prospective services to share RDA records, preferably yesterday. But they should also be allowing others to move into this arena, and compete for the innovation dollar. The library community is at a critical crossroads, technologically, socially, and professionally speaking, and what it patently does not need is a supposedly membership cooperative that behaves like a monopoly in regards to library innovation of any kind, in particular, service innovation around data and its uses.

我的希望是,OCLC应该积极准备,并且明确昭告天下,他们应提供遗留数据的转换服务或回溯服务,以共享RDA数据。越早这样做越好。同时它还应该允许其 它机构进入这个领域,只有通过竞争才能获得持续的创新。图书馆事业正处于关键的十字路口,无论是从技术、社会和职业发展上看,图书馆事业显然都不需要寡头 垄断,这样会阻碍图书馆事业的任何创新,特别是围绕数据和用户的服务创新。

Conclusion 结语

There are obvious parallels here with the current economic situation, particularly around the “big three” auto makers and their attempts to avoid changing their way of doing things as they line up at the public trough. Discussions about the implications of their financial failures on the economy of Michigan vary, but nobody denies that the results could be dire and painful for workers and management alike. So, too, the consequences for libraries if OCLC does not shake off their monopolistic posturing and take the risk of actually competing in a library market where they cannot be the only game in town, but instead open the data for their library members to use and reuse as they see fit. To do this they must eschew the notion of OCLC as the center of the universe, and make as much as they can of the knowledge and experience they undoubtedly have to position themselves as a major player in an open world, as one of many sources for needed data services.

与 当前的经济形势显然非常一致,特别是像汽车“三巨头”不想改变自己而向公共财政乞食,各类评说众说纷纭,但是没有人否认对于工人和管理人员来说结局都不 妙。同理,如果OCLC不改变它的寡头立场,敢于冒险与图书馆为敌,不要忘了它并不是唯一的选择,如果它能够向它的成员馆开放数据,让它们随意使用。 OCLC只有放弃自我中心论,向整个行业贡献尽可能多的知识和经验,提供业界所需的数据服务,它才会有前途。

In the absence of such an epiphany, I don’t think we can avoid a long, messy transition to RDA, with those libraries able to manage their own transition (regardless of OCLC) leading the way. It would be a shame to see that happen. What use then, for a member cooperative that includes most of the libraries in the U.S., and many worldwide, if they cannot, or will not provide the kind of help to their members (and non-members) that is desperately needed? If enough ask that question, we may see OCLC go the way of the “big three,” and that would be unfortunate.

不经历上述思考,我们可能就会经历一个漫长的、混乱的过程,才能走向RDA,才能使那些图书馆(没有OCLC的情况下)自己实现变革。这将是可耻的。这个包括 美国大多数图书馆,以及世界上众多图书馆的会员制合作组织,如果不能对其会员提供任何帮助,那它还有什么用?我们的质问已经足够,如果还看到OCLC像“ 三巨头”那样的下场,那可真是(我们这个行业的巨大)不幸。


[1] On the Record: Report of The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, January 9, 2008. Available at: http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/news/lcwg-ontherecord-jan08-final.pdf
[2] Joint Statement of the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library on Resource Description and Access, May 1, 2008. Available at: http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/news/RDA_Letter_050108.pdf
[3] Response to On the Record: Report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, Deanna B. Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services, June 1, 2008. Available at: http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/news/LCWGResponse-Marcum-Final-061008.pdf
[4] Delsey, Tom. RDA Database Implementation Scenarios, 5JSC/Editor/2 , 14 January 2007. Available at: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/jsc/docs/5editor2.pdf
[5] DCMI/RDA Task Group Wiki. Available at: http://dublincore.org/dcmirdataskgroup/
[6] Definition of “critical mass” http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=critical%20mass
[7] RDA Elements. Available at: http://metadataregistry.org/schemaprop/list/schema_id/1.html
[8] RDA Roles. Available at: http://metadataregistry.org/schemaprop/list/schema_id/4.html
[9] RDA Base Material. Available at: http://metadataregistry.org/concept/list/vocabulary_id/35.html
[10] RDA Production Method. Available at: http://metadataregistry.org/concept/list/vocabulary_id/33.html)


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