Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

I Dream of FRBR

Maggie Davidov

frbrerd-1024x770.jpgHave you ever gotten down and dirty with the people who put the numbers on books at your library? You know, those call number people who keep to themselves and in the words of Ron Burgundy, “have many leather-bound books.” I assumed with the aid of the World Wide Web, cataloging and classifying would be a cinch. Sadly, I was very wrong and those catalogers that sit in the back room of the library should be revered as Gods who walk among mere mortals. The organization of the data associated with things like books, DVDs, periodicals, and all the other fabulous stuff we house in our hallowed halls can take many forms. And get this: the experts in our field cannot agree on the best way to do it!

It is said that the best kind of classes are the ones that make you question many things. All I’m questioning is why organization has to be so difficult. I could talk to you about Dublin Core (not from Ireland, but Ohio), MARC, AACR2, RDA, and the guiding principle that will lead us all to the dark side of the force, FRBR. But that would make me sound like an idiot and not worthy to sit in my Organization of Information class. I think the question that I contemplate, more often than not, when I browse the various Moodle posts and listen to lectures is why there isn’t one definitive right answer to our organizational needs? This is indeed a naïve question, but I consider my colleagues in the LIS field to be some of the smartest I know. I mean, aren’t we supposed to be professional learners? We should be experts at assessing our needs as an information community and meeting those needs with an organizational scheme. But I’m thinking of the differences between a work and an expression and I get lost. I’m wandering in this sea of organizational uncertainty. If the classes that are the best are the ones that push you to question then I must be taking the most thought-provoking class of all time as I am now so prone to wonderings of this nature. There’s a plug for LIS 415 if I ever heard one, and I never thought it would come from me.