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Re: [BKARTS] artists' books cataloged on OCLC

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf
> Of Charles Brownson
> Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 8:33 AM
> I might add that the present web makes a mockery of the integrity
> of databases, and as management of information ceases to be local
> the result is that any corruption which emanates from "here" will
> pretty quickly get "over there" in the manner of that kid's
> whispering game.

Complaints about Amazon's "ASIN" system are rife - I wouldn't list my books
on Amazon if it were the last venue on Earth, partially for this reason.
Apparently any pre-ISBN book is assigned an "ASIN" (short for assinine?)
that is created by the bookseller (many of whom have distinctly limited
cataloging abilities, not to mention any real knowledge of bibliographical
techniques) and ASINs for various titles proliferate, along with their
egregious errors. Phaugh! Ptui! Gag!

Even ISBN is often misleading, depending on where you access the records
that are online. ISBN lookup may return results for publishers in various
countries, various editions, etc. In some cases, "old" ISBN numbers are
recycled and there can be two or more titles for one number. Paperback/cloth
bound editions get confused. Phooie again.

What we would hope, for intellectual control of the
> family of artists books, is for some list (Drucker's, for
> example, or the Brooklyn museum) to acquire the authority to be
> taken as definitive.

That sounds very much like something that one or more Book Artist groups
could/should take on to lobby for, perhaps offering assistance. Organizing
such a movement now could alleviate a lot of patching and bandaging later.

The WWW had truly become the "Misinformation Highway." Be careful out there!


Lee Kirk
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