What on earth?!
I’ve been doing some reading up about cataloguing concepts and terminology this week. I had heard of RIMMF and Janeathons (and an Agathon) before, but not r-balls! But now I think I’ve just about grasped the basics of what they are, although I suspect you really need to get practical experience of them before you can fully understand them.
RIMMF stands for RDA in Many Metadata Formats. Basically, it’s a visualisation tool for cataloguers, to help them (us) get used to thinking in terms of RDA (Resource Description and Access), rather than MARC and AACR2.
These are a bit more difficult to explain/qualify, particularly as the ‘r’ in ‘r-ball’ can stand for several different things! It’s probably best if you look at the r-balls webpages (FAQs are always useful) because I don’t think I can explain it any better.
Janeathons and Agathons
A Janeathon or an Agathon is an example of an X-athon. According to the r-balls website,
“An X-athon is a “hackathon” for metadata clustered around a specific cultural entity such as a person [e.g. Jane Austen in the case of a Janeathon; Agatha Christie in the case of an Agathon] or work [e.g. Blade Runner]. A group of cataloguers and others get together to “hack” data conforming to the guidelines and instructions of RDA: Resource Description and Access.
The data are created, imported, edited, exported, and otherwise manipulated using RIMMF, the RDA editor.
I must confess that this is still not all that much clearer than mud to me, but I will keep reading and perhaps even attend some training (an X-athon would be good!) one day. As I said above, I think I really need practical experience of RIMMF before I can really gain a proper understanding of it. Even my understanding of RDA is quite basic, as we don’t yet use it in our library and I haven’t had any formal training in it apart from some training in FRBR a few years ago. (I have asked to go on training but was refused for various reasons, and then I was on maternity leave).
Despite not totally understanding all the concepts surrounding RIMMF, r-balls etc., I’m finding it fascinating. Cataloguing is such a thought-provoking and at times challenging area of library work –more reasons to love it!