You are right Galen, many care. They shouldn't, but they do. A substantial set of my research time right now is being spent looking at practical applications with bibframe, linked data, and a world without MARC in general -- and I can guarantee that any information that we think we are creating by carefully ordering fields within our record for display purposes isn't going to translation (nor should it).
There are big and exciting things around what we can do with library metadata and lately I've been feeling like the time and effort we spend on this level of insanity as akin to tilting at windmills.
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Galen Charlton
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2014 1:23 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] ruby-marc: how to sort fields after append?
On Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 10:11 AM, Terry Reese <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I was so hoping someone would bring up position of MARC fields.
> Everything Kyle says is true -- and I would follow that up by saying,
> no one will care, even most catalogers. In fact, I wouldn't even
> resort the data to begin with -- outside of aesthetics, the sooner we
> can get away from prescribing some kind of magical meaning to field
> order (have you ever read the book on determining 5xx field order, I
> have -- it's depressing; again, who but a cataloger would know) we'll
> all be better off. :)
Indeed, field order is not a great way to convey meaning, is not going to migrate well to RDF, and there are few practical reasons to be too worried about it -- although some OPACs do at least display subject headings links in the order that they were entered in the record.
However, some catalogers in my experience do care, and even if only for the sake of inter-personal harmony, avoiding unnecessary reordering of MARC fields can be a win.
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