Resource, Description, Access: the New Cataloging Standard
Posted by repplinger
ALA released the new “cataloging” standards, known as RDA or Resource, Description, Access, earlier this week. I have a feeling that life will become a lot more interesting for librarians and patrons alike because of this change. Why does this matter to the average Joe?
Libraries have been trying to incorporate online resources into the traditional library catalog since the new technologies arrived on scene. However, from the beginning these new technologies have defied the traditional library catalog classification system. They simply don’t fit the traditional “book” metadata format (metadata is descriptive information about a specific resource).
Catalogers eventually came to terms with this phenomena (some earlier than others), and they began forming a new set of organizing information or “cataloging” standard to enhance and eventually replace the current AARC2 cataloging standards.
The new standards will be geared to pull in metadata (e.g. title of a resource, description of it, and access) from online resources and make it much more useful and dynamic for the user. Hopefully, the future online catalog will be able to monitor changes to web resources and automatically update the changes by itself.
How useful would it be to have a master catalog of all resources in the United States (and even the world) of what libraries own and access. Instead of the libraries listing what materials they have, the national catalog would list resources that are available with ferberized metadata and the library could simply check a box essentially as to if they have it and where it is located. Not only would this help library patrons conceptualize what a library has to offer in terms of unique holdings and access, but it could be useful for vendors to help identify potential markets.
This is jumping the gun a little, but it is fun to dream! Below is the official news release from the American Libraries Magazine.
For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/13/2010 – 09:22
Contact: Jill Davis
Publishing (pub)CHICAGO—ALA Editions, the publishing imprint of the American Library Association, announces the release of “Introducing RDA: A Guide to the Basics,” by Chris Oliver. Resource Description and Access (RDA) is the new cataloguing standard that will replace the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR). The 2010 release of RDA is not the release of a revised standard; it represents a shift in the understanding of the cataloguing process. Oliver, cataloguing and authorities coordinator at the McGill University Library and chair of the Canadian Committee on Cataloging, offers practical advice on how to make the transition. This indispensable Special Report helps catalogers by:
- concisely explaining RDA and its expected benefits for users and cataloguers, presented through topics and questions;
- placing RDA in context by examining its connection with its predecessor, AACR2, as well as looking at RDA’s relationship to internationally accepted principles, standards and models; and
- detailing how RDA positions us to take advantage of newly emerging database structures, how RDA data enables improved resource discovery and how we can get metadata out of library silos and make it more accessible.Oliver has worked at the McGill University Library since 1989, as a cataloguing librarian and cataloguing manager. She received her M.A. and M.L.I.S. degrees from McGill University. She is the chair of the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing and has been a member of the committee since 1997. This has given her the opportunity to be involved with the evolution of RDA from its beginning. She served as a member of the Joint Steering Committee’s Format Variation Working Group and as chair of the RDA Outreach Group. She has given presentations on RDA in Canada, the United States and internationally.
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Read original source: http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/news/ala/guide-rda-basics