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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

RDA Implementation and Your Library

The Library of Congress implementation date of March 31, 2013, for the new Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging standards has come and gone.  Also effective on this date was OCLC’s new policy statement regarding RDA (

So what does this mean for you? First, rest assured that no library will be required to do original cataloging in RDA. Each library will have to determine an RDA implementation timeline, along with how to incorporate this new type of record into the current catalog database. Some libraries may want to keep the old AACR2 format for existing records entirely, while others may choose to add select RDA elements, thus creating hybrid records.

RDA records are out there and more are on the way. These records may affect search paths and item display in the OPAC, so waiting too long to decide on a plan of action may have far-reaching effects. Here are a few proactive suggestions:
  • Contact your ILS provider to see if they will offer upgrades regarding RDA records.
  • If your library purchases MARC records from outside agencies (including Midwest Tape), reach out to them to make your plans and needs known.
In order for us to best serve you, we need to know your implementation plans. Some of the things we will need to know are:
  • Your ILS vendor
  • If you plan on implementing RDA gradually, all at once, or not at all
  • What accommodations do you require for RDA implementation?
  • What adjustments have you had to make (if any) for the increase of RDA records for books?
Let us know your general plans in the comments section below. As the implementation date approaches and your plans solidify, keep us informed, provide feedback, and ask questions by posting to our blog.

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