Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Metadta update # 31 FRBR and a World Wide Metadata Collaboration

When I was at ALA MidWinter 2015, I attended the FRBR Interest Group meeting which was discussing the topic of whether or not FRBR was dead.   At the meeting, it was revealed that while some felt that BIBFRAME supersedes the FRBR model and makes it irrelevant, there are others who feel that FRBR is an essential model for teaching RDA and linked data concepts (at least as it relates to library data) as well as for using "cataloguer's judgement".  I tend to fall into the latter category of librarians.  At the end of the meeting, the conclusion was that the interest group should not fold and that FRBR still lives - although it is need of updating and enriching.

I attended the same interest group meeting at Midwinter 2016 to find another discussion of FRBR and the new Library Reference Model (LRM).  As it turns out, some attendees were aware the LRM had been released a few months earlier but nobody who spoke seemed to be knowledgeable about the document contents beyond being able to give their initial opinions of what they read.  This is understandable.  With the new models, it does take quite a bit of reading and reflecting to be able to make sense of them let alone evaluate or critique them.

Since then the FRBR Review group has created a blog at where librarians can read the projected changes to the FRBR model (LRM) and post their comments.  Comments can be posted until May 1st, 2016.

I really love collaborative projects and I particularly enjoy it when the collaborations are international in scope.  We are undergoing massive changes in cataloging and metadata and the more heads that are working on the models, the better.  I look forward to seeing how successful this approach is in terms of generating deep, diverse and intelligent reflections on the model and what it means for the practice of creating metadata and the systems which use it. 

It is quite interesting to see that content from tweets is also embedded in the main page.  The rate at which change is occurring in our field and the global context in which the changes are happening seems to make the use of social media an increasingly critical part of both keeping up to date and discussing the changes as they are proposed and/or implemented. 

If you haven't had a look at LRM yet, you may want to have a look at the link to the blog.  You can find the document there as well as comments which have already been posted.  I think that it is exciting that we are starting to see metadata collaborations occurring in an open global platform such as this.