Saturday, September 15, 2012

Changes to library cataloging standard

An email this week from ALA Editions alerted me to the pending implementation of a new cataloging standard, Resource Description and Access (RDA):
“The March 2013 full implementation by Library of Congress and other national libraries is coming up fast, and libraries are working intensively to familiarize staff, whether they’re going to be simply interacting with records created using RDA or doing original cataloging themselves.”
Beginning Cataloging (Libraries Unlimited, 2009), the textbook in my cataloging course, briefly addressed this subject. Authors Jean Weihs and Sheila S. Inter discussed the future of descriptive cataloging:
“[The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA] claims that RDA’s rules will be simpler, have fewer exceptions, and be written in such a way that catalogers can judge for themselves how to handle variations from the norm without causing problems in local catalogs or bibliographic databases extending beyond the local library.”
I am new to the subject, but feel it important to keep up with pending developments.

The email promoted a workshop in October that gives an overview of RDA. The workshop will look at key aspects that make RDA different from the current standard, Anglo-American Cataloging Rules.

The workshop presenter, Chris Oliver, wrote Introducing RDA (ALA Editions).

I found a copy of Introducing RDA in the Sonoma County Library catalog. Hopefully after I have read Oliver’s report, RDA may be clearer to me -- at least in the context of being a newcomer to the discipline of cataloging.

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