Database Madness :-)

BRUNVAND_A%FLC

Message 110 · 18 Dec 1993 00:23:14 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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December 17, 1993

I may just be standing up for my own profession, but what you need
to create a good useable database is the services of a catalog
librarian. Librarians know all about descriptive cataloging,
indexing, subject headings, thesaurus construction, searchable
fields, key word searching, and all those other details which
should be taken into consideration from the start in order to
provide information access later on.

For cataloging library materials, guides like the "Anglo American
Cataloging Rules" tell how to describe materials in a standardized
way, subject heading lists like the "Library of Congress Subject
Headings" provide standard descriptive words, and librarians use a
standardized cataloging template called a MARC record (it stands
for "Machine Readable Cataloging") so that records produced in
different libraries are compatible and can be shared.

If there is real interest in creating a unified Scottish dance
database, it would be worthwhile to develop a Scottish dance MARC
record so that records could be easily shared. A different record
format could be used for dance collections, music recordings,
scores, and individual dances (and with the exception of the
individual dances the library MARC record formats that already
exist would probably work quite well). This would allow the
eventual construction of a unified database instead of lots of
little sperate ones. It would also be good to develop a thesaurus
of subject headings, and some rules or guidelines for writing the
dance descriptions.

The graduate student idea is not really so crazy. There is
probably a library science student out there right now searching
for a good dissertation topic.

I guess this all sounds a little compulsive, but isn't that why we
like Scottish Dancing? :-)

Amy Brunvand,
Librarian
XXXXXXXX@XXX.XXXXXXXX.XXX

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