Report of the AALL Representative to the American Library Association,
Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
Cataloging and Classification Section: Description and Access (CC:DA)
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, Colorado, January 2009
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, July 2009
Harvard Law School Library
hostage [at] law.harvard.edu
17 July 2009
Primary contact (at ALA): John Myers, chair
The work of CC:DA has been focused to a large part on the development of Resource Description and Access, otherwise known as RDA. This new cataloging code, a successor to AACR2, has now completed its editorial phase. A complete draft consisting of hundreds of page in multiple PDF files was released for review in November 2008. There was much criticism of the fact that the online product for which RDA has ostensibly been designed was not available for review. A demo version of the product was promised for February, but has still not appeared as of this date. At the annual conference in July it was reported that the developer was directed to work on the actual database instead. The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) discussed comments on the draft at its March meeting and delivered the final text to the publishers in June. The release date for the online product is now projected for late November. The planned testing period by the three U.S. national libraries and a group of other libraries won't begin until after that. The testing will take place over six months and then be evaluated by the national libraries, so there won't be a decision on implementation until late 2010.
Since not all issues were resolved for this initial release of RDA, attention will soon turn to proposals for revisions. There are still some issues that law catalogers are not satisfied with, such as entry for treaties, entry for court reports, and uniform titles for laws and treaties.
I will be reporting to the Technical Services Special Interest Section and to various cataloging groups at the AALL annual meeting in Washington.