Reviewing RDA ‘Final’ Draft

I’ve been plowing through the final draft of RDA and becoming increasingly frustrated and discouraged.  I’m trying to approach this with an open mind; I really am.  I believe there is a need for RDA and that this could well be a stepping stone on the way toward the semantic web.  And libraries and librarians should be involved, if not leading that effort.  But so far there has been nowhere that I haven’t found something in the RDA draft that is questionable or presents some strange inconsistency or plain just does not feel right.

Making these determinations is challenging to say the least.  It’s hard to really get the structure of this massive document.  Remember this is the first time we’ve had an opportunity to see the whole RDA document. And it was delayed for months, finally released as a gaggle of pdf files.  These are extremely difficult to work with and/or print (which I have avoided preferring instead to work with it online).  Wrapping my head around this is starting to make me kinda crazy.

Where’s the electronic version?  Where’s the ability to chart your path through this document according to the needs of the particular cataloguer?  Where’s RDA?  These 1,000 pages, or however many there are, are not RDA.  And for certain this is not a final draft!  There is so much that still needs to be done:  proofreading, rule reference correction, and most importantly vetting of the conceptual structure and presentation. Why wasn’t the review period extended so the constituencies had more time to try and do this? And the time that was alloted ran over the holiday period. Nice. Thanks.

It’s not ready. It needs more time. Why rush through this? I feel like I’m picking away at a scab and at this rate it’s never going to heal. OK, maybe I’m over reacting … but I don’t think I’m alone.

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