2013 Annual Report

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Report of the AALL Representative to the
American Library Association,
Association for Library Collections and Technical Services,
Cataloging and Metadata Management Section,
Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)
ALA Midwinter Meeting, Seattle, Washington, January 2013
ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 2013

John Hostage
Harvard Law School Library
hostage [at] law.harvard.edu

24 July 2013

Primary contact (at ALA): Peter Rolla, chair.

The work of CC:DA continued to be focused on RDA (Resource Description & Access) in the past year. After years of deliberation and preparation, RDA was fully implemented by the national libraries and many other libraries in this country, including law libraries, earlier this year. In the past year the text of RDA has been reworded for greater clarity and readability. Meanwhile, work on the Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative, now nicknamed "Bibframe," has continued. The goal is to produce a model to replace the MARC format and take full advantage of the possibilities of RDA in the developing linked data world.

CC:DA continues to study proposals for revisions to RDA. In collaboration with other law catalogers, I prepared a proposal to change the construction of access points for treaties under RDA. The text as written called for entering treaties under the first-named signatory. For many multilateral treaties this would lead to access points that started with "Afghanistan" or "Albania" or some other country at the beginning of the alphabet. This was unacceptable to the law cataloging community, so we proposed that the access point for all treaties should consist of the title of the treaty followed by the date of signing. This proposal was accepted by CC:DA and sent on to the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of RDA (JSC), which will decide on the matter at its next meeting later this year.

CC:DA has been looking at proposals for revisions to other parts of RDA, especially the instructions and vocabularies for relationship designators, an area that is emphasized much more strongly in RDA than it was in AACR2. Another area is the instructions concerning names of places; I am serving on a task force that is studying ways to make the instructions simpler and more consistent.

The law cataloging community is considering whether we want to propose other changes in the coming year. One possibility is the elimination of the conventional collective title "Laws, etc.," which is used for certain compilations of laws.