Introducing RDA: A Guide to the Basics (ALA Editions Special Reports Book 2) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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The book is oriented primarily to those who are already familiar with AACR2, which my students are not. So it did not serve the purpose for which I bought it.
Also, I had to write to LC for an explanation of RDA's unprecedented inclusion of cross-references in the term "access point." The book did not explain THAT.
I can understand why very few MLIS students are turning to cataloguing if this is their introduction to the field.
The audience for this book is practicing cataloguers familiar with AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition) practices who want to prepare themselves for RDA and probably have not been in library school for ten years or more. Oliver does an excellent job of distilling the FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) theoretical model into practical terms.
Additionally Oliver points out how much of the language in RDA is similar to or exactly the same as AACR2 and points out where language has been altered and drastically changed to fit the FRBR model. This makes it very useful for those acquainted with AACR2, but may be less useful for those with no AAACR2 experience.
This book is very skinny, so it is a quick and easy read. I don't quite understand a previous review suggesting that the text is overly wordy. (And to reply to another comment, no textbook author is paid by the word! Far from it and certainly not by CLA and ALA.)
The one drawback is that Oliver had to write this book using the draft language of RDA and probably had early access to the initial release in June 2010. However, the text is written in such a way that it would take major changes to the text of RDA before this book could become obsolete.
Whatever- He uses pages to explain what should be reduced to sentences. In school, I was taught that if you really knew your subject, you could explain it succinctly or perhaps you just like to hear yourself talk and/or read your writing.
No wonder this has been years in the development with multiple committees (ever see all the names on the RDA print document). Everybody wants to be a star. Perhaps we should do what RDA was supposed to be. A simple rendering of facts and nothing more complicated. People are supposed to make communication of ideas simple for understanding. I guess that is why writers write and these librarians class them.
The Seven Laws of the Learner: How to Teach Almost Anything to Practically Anyone
Let's exhume Melvill Dewey and force him to rethink the ALA.