10 September 2011

WEMI schmeemy

Why is it that I cannot get more excited about the FRBR Group 1 entities? The most recent moment of ennui (or more) came after reading an email exchange in a working group I'm supposedly working on. The discussion of whether subjects could apply to Expressions, Manifestations, and Items, or only Works, just saddened me. Isn't the ultimate model that you have an entity and relationships? Probably doesn't map well, or play well with others.

The WEMI model does have some strengths for collocating editions. It's hard for me to think outside the MARC box (aka catalog cards). The manifestation model that we've been using since way back (to the earliest library catalogs, I think; just go look at the old British Museum printed catalog) does a satisfactory job. If you had fields that would do more than simply index things the same way, you could get from a Manifestation or Expression up to a Work. I used to dream at Cornell of a way we could just add copies of Hamlet and other classic works rather than have individual records. The online environment should allow you to appropriate all of the common elements of the Work and add whatever is individual about the resource in hand; the user would get a cluster of editions.

And then there's real life. Today was the memorial service for Lois Smith who probably was my first model in life, that is, the first non-family, non-parent-selected, non-neighbor person who taught me how to get on in life. She was a librarian (naturally) and pacifist (also not surprising). I've done library and pacifist too but, even more, it was her way of living with enthusiasm, acceptance, and modesty that I credit as a good model for living. This would have been Mrs Smith's 101st birthday (she died during the summer and Alfred lives on an academic calendar).

Tonight they're doing a reading of "9/10" by Richard Willett, addressing the terror of 9/11, ten years later. As much as I feel for us Americans, perhaps especially those with first-hand connections, I cannot get over the tens of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan people who have been slaughtered in revenge. Your terrorist is my freedom fighter.

This was rather a ramble over a variety of territory. I recently was cruising the blogs of a couple friends and was struck by the thoughtfulness of their postings. And I was touched that a cousin of mine mentioned that she enjoyed my Facebook postings, particularly a rather dry and wry appreciation of Robert Ryman's "The Elliott Room" at the Art Institute of Chicago.

No comments: