Facets and FRBR

In one of his recent posts, James Weinheimer stated that the possibilities to limit and sort results by facets provided by discovery layers “fulfill the “FRBR user tasks” right now, and even overfulfill[s] them.” I hadn’t yet seen facets as embodiments of FRBR (or at least I hadn’t spelled it out so clearly). But it turns out you can ascribe attributes associated with each FRBR group or entity to one (or more) facets. So I figured it’s worth visualizing this with a concrete example for myself as well as for others (to who this may have been obvious already …). Let’s not argue about whether form/genre belongs to manifestion or expression, all that matters is whether whatever tool or construct we offer will help users find (I take “find” in the broadest sense of the word, i. e. to include identify, obtain etc.) what they are looking for, not so much how we librarians conceptualize or name it.

Since the example I chose is from the Austrian union catalog (ETA: http://search.obvsg.at/OBV), which serves a consortium of academic and administrative libraries, facets pointing to specific libraries or locations (to items in FRBR speak) are included. However, grouping is not done very elegantly – more effective grouping would sort the number of hits in a clearer way. A rather explicit way of grouping together expresssions and list all manifestations under the respective expressions is shown in slides 27 and 28 of Thomas Brenndorfer’s presentation “The FRBR-RDA Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together” (unfortunately, the catalog he refers to is no longer available at that address, so I wasn’t able to replicate his screen shots). This way of hierarchical grouping makes it easier for the user to see whether a library has, say, different language editions, talking book or film versions of a given work.

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