Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Metadata Update #5 - "Legacy"

So as libraries move toward RDA implementation, there seems to be a lot of talk about the AACR2/MARC records in our catalogues already.  What do we do with them?  When do we leave them alone and when do we convert them to RDA.  One of the interesting words that I often hear people use to refer to our existing metadata is "legacy".  Those old AACR2/MARC records are our "legacy" metadata.  It's an interesting term.  It makes it sound like the existing records in our catalogues are the "inheritance" that the next generation of library workers will receive from the cataloguing community.  I like the term.  Rather than saying that MARC and AACR2-based records are bad and need to be replaced, it makes it sound like they are something of value to be passed down through time.  Given the number of "legacy" records in existence, I suspect that even though they may be worked over and remade into new formats from time to time, the core of those original records will be the cataloguing legacy of the work of cataloguers done in about the last 40 or so years. 

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