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Re: FRBR and classes ('frbr:Works in the age of mechanical reproduction'...)

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2011 17:53:49 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTi=Q1-Bo2e270vOFPUfTZBcwFFXw8MMabofo0AY+@mail.gmail.com>
To: Karen Coyle <kcoyle@kcoyle.net>
Cc: public-lld <public-lld@w3.org>
On 17 March 2011 18:02, Karen Coyle <kcoyle@kcoyle.net> wrote:
> It's hard to respond to such a long post, but I will try to do so briefly.
> Clearly, the issue here is not technology but *mission*. The mission of the
> library is not to gather physical things into an inventory, but to organize
> human knowledge that has been very inconveniently packaged. While there is a
> case for modeling the packages as packages (for example in warehouses that
> serve Amazon, or for library circulation functions), the library catalog
> describes the package as a secondary aspect (as you note below, Dan). The
> primary goal is to describe what the content of these packages MEANS, in
> themselves and in relation to each other, and over time. Obviously, MEANING
> in this context is a very big word.

Nicely put. There's a sense of meaning where we're talking about
looking within the packets (esp. scientific / factual claims, or
citations), a sense of meaning where we're looking at WEMI-based , and
also a sense where the meaning is scattered across an evolving debate
or tradition, ... a larger multi-authored literature rather than a
function of any single work. And that's without getting into the
squishier arty senses of the word.

> That said, it may be time to unbundle the inventory function (which is
> necessary for library management: purchasing, circulation, estimating
> storage needs) from the human knowledge function, and at least allow the
> latter to evolve unfettered by the need to control the packages. Perhaps
> what we need to do with FRBR is to remove the dependency of the knowledge
> function from the physical inventory function, but link them for services
> that intertwine intellectual discovery and item delivery. (In fact, today's
> MARC-based records may do this better than FRBR does.)

I think there's something in that. Also there is real human knowledge
to be gained from large-scale patterns (linking, reading, citing,
reviewing ...) amongst items. If I take some "ideas" to a conference,
I generally have to do that through passing some PDF file through a
computer-mediated workflow, and maybe use some other file format to
capture a presentation I give, which might also be recorded and
available in .wav or .mp3 format. Maybe I blog about it, or others
blog about it too, or eventually criticise the ideas and claims in
other papers. Whatever we do we leave a trail of artifacts and
evidence, many of which end up in the Web without passing through a
library or professionally curated collections. If we can understand
the flow of all those artifacts better by connecting some of them to
carefully described library records - e.g. finding recent formal
publications on same topic from people who bookmarked or mentioned or
twittered some artifact of a conference presentation, there might be a
way to anchor what you're calling the 'human knowledge function' in
several 'inventories'.


Received on Monday, 21 March 2011 16:54:43 UTC

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