Thursday, 4 April 2013

Post-31st March!

Hard to believe we are already into April 2013, when it seems like the year only just started!

So, RDA is now longer coming our way - it has already arrived! With a bang? Well, no, not for us really, since some major bibliographic record suppliers have been providing records in RDA format since January of this year. What we have had to do in relation to our own cataloguing work is look at the RDA standard and see what we can and can’t currently adopt, due to limitations not in our cataloguing software, nor our cataloguers' abilities, but in our OPAC.

Decisions made at a cataloguers’ meeting earlier this year will remain in place until our OPAC has the capabilities to display all the new RDA-specific fields, and that, unfortunately, means that wherever possible, the cataloguers will be avoiding importing RDA records. Where an RDA record is the best record available, then it will be imported and modified to suit us, but the resulting record will not be shared with the cataloguing community at large.

Problematic fields for us include the new 264 field, so we will not initially be adopting this, but we will retain fields 336, 337 and 338 if they are in the record. We have had much discussion about 245 $h and have reluctantly decided to adopt this practice, and are hoping that users will find the item-type icon acceptable as an indicator of material-type, until our OAPC is improved.

This situation does, of course, mean that our knowledge, skills and experience of using RDA will lag behind the rest of the cataloguing community, though we are dipping in and out of our toolkit and looking out for suitable training.

Here’s hoping for a speedy resolution to our display problem!

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