Trying to understand what is needed for bibliographic access and what some folks are talking about is not a simple endeavor. And much of the time we seem to be talking at cross purposes. Often we aren’t but we are speaking different languages. We are at once surrounded by MEGOs.
In his political dictionary, William Safire described the MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over — me go) as something incredibly important but soporifically dull. Others describe it as a barrage of technical terminology that confuses someone who is too embarrassed to admit they don’t understand it. Our current situation is strewn with MEGOs.
For many non-catalogers, AACR2, authority control, the ins and outs of the MARC format, etc., are all MEGOs. But in recent years catalogers have been inundated by MEGOs: FRBR and all its terms, RDA and all its terms, the terminology of web-based metadata, the list goes on.
I do wish I had heard the NETSL presentation that went along with Rick Block’s slides for “RDA: Boondoggle or Boon? And What About MARC?”. His slides do an excellent job of articulating what many of us are feeling, which is a deep and profound “Huh?”
Do you feel somewhat like this guy in the middle? I know I do and I’m not even running a cataloging operation. All I really have to do is figure out what the heck I should concentrate on in the upcoming cataloging class. I mean, is it fair to ask them to purchase AACR2? Will ALA Publishing have any in the warehouse? I don’t imagine they plan to print more. No, I don’t expect specific answers to those questions here.
Anyway, just a small wail before I try to understand the MEGOs one at a time.