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, Boston, Mass., January 2010
ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., July 2010
Harvard Law School Library
hostage [at] law.harvard.edu
8 July 2010
Primary contact (at ALA): John Myers, chair
In the past year CC:DA continued to be focused on RDA: Resource Description and Access, the new cataloging code to succeed AACR2. At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston a beta version of the RDA Toolkit was demonstrated. The toolkit is an online text database that will include the full text of RDA plus the RDA element set view, mappings to other systems, the ability to create or share workflows, and other related resources. There was also discussion of the pricing of RDA, which turned out to be more expensive than many had expected. Access to RDA is based on an annual subscription model, starting at $195 for a solo user. Institutional licenses start at $325, with additional charges for each concurrent user.
At the Midwinter Meeting CC:DA was given a presentation on application profiles by Diane Hillmann, Jon Phipps, and Karen Coyle. An application profile is a set of metadata elements, policies and guidelines defined for a particular application. It is an important tool for managing and processing data in the Semantic Web.
The committee reviewed a list of issues in RDA that had been deferred. A couple of them were of particular interest to law catalogers. One issue was a simplification of the rules for reports of a single court that had been proposed by AALL. The AALL representative was asked to prepare a revision proposal before the Annual Conference, which he did with the help of the Descriptive Cataloging Advisory Group, especially Marie Whited. However, CC:DA later decided to postpone consideration of rule revision proposals until after the final text of RDA was available. The proposal may be considered at the Midwinter Meeting in January 2011. It is expected that there will be a rule revision process for RDA similar to the one for AACR2. The next meeting of the Joint Steering Committed for the Development of RDA (JSC), the body which makes the final decisions on changes to RDA, will take place in the spring of 2011.
The main focus at the Annual Conference in Washington was celebrating the official release of RDA a couple of days earlier. RDA will undergo a period of testing by the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library, in partnership with a number of other institutions, during the next six months. The results of this test will be announced early in 2011 and the national libraries will decide whether to implement RDA at that time. (Most observers find it hard to believe they will decide not to implement.)