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, San Diego, California, January 2011
ALA Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, June 2011
Harvard Law School Library
hostage [at] law.harvard.edu
8 July 2011
Primary contact (at ALA): Lori Robare, chair
The work of CC:DA (visit website) continued to be focused on RDA (Resource Description & Access) in the past year. RDA is a new cataloging code designed to replace AACR2. The RDA Toolkit was released a year ago. It is an online, subscription-based resource that contains the text of RDA as well as the RDA element set, various mappings, workflows, and related resources. The three national libraries in the U.S. (LC, NLM, NAL), assisted by many other libraries, put RDA through an extensive period of testing. After evaluating the results of that testing, they announced in June that they intended to implement RDA no earlier than January 1, 2013, contingent on a number of improvements being made. In a related move, the Library of Congress announced in May a Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative to investigate the development of an eventual replacement for the MARC 21 format. Many people believe a new data transmission carrier is necessary to take full advantage of RDA and to integrate library data in the wider world of information on the web.
CC:DA continues to study proposals for revisions to RDA. At the Midwinter meeting in January it considered two proposals from the AALL representative. One of them was a simplification of the rules of entry for the reports of a single court (168 KB PDF). It was approved by the committee and sent on to the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA (JSC), which has the final word on the text of RDA. The other proposal concerned the rules for certain place names. At the Midwinter meeting the committee indicated it would like to see certain changes in the proposal and sent it back for more work. A new version (168 KB PDF) was considered at the Annual conference in June. There were still some small changes that were desired by the committee, but the proposal will probably be sent to the JSC soon.
RDA and previous cataloging codes have been concerned only with descriptive cataloging. Subject cataloging has been handled by other processes. However, RDA includes a number of placeholder chapters for subject entities to align with the underlying models of FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and FRSAD (Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data). Now CC:DA and the JSC are starting to consider how to incorporate these subject elements in RDA.