Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RDA the new era in cataloguing

A new era in cataloguing is about to take place with the introduction of RDA. RDA: Resource Description and Access is the new descriptive cataloguing standard that will replace the Anglo American Cataloguing Rules2 (AACR2).

In CEO Parramatta the library system support staff will be working closely with our library software supplier SirsiDynix to integrate changes as need be as well as keeping our school libraries informed. The aim of this post is just to provide a bit of background information about RDA for all library staff.

The aim of RDA is that cataloguing rules be easy to use and interpret and be applicable to an online, networked environment. Additionally it aims to provide effective bibliographic control for all types of media, and encourage use beyond the library community.

An example of one change is to provide users with better data about content and carrier of the content. General material designations (GMDs) and specific material designations (SMDs) used in AACR2 will be replaced in RDA with new elements to describe content and carrier. The current GMDs are a mixture of terms designating both content and carrier. For example, the GMD “videorecording” can be used for both videocassettes and DVDs. OPAC displays based on the current AACRC2 rules do not always give the user a clear indication of the content of the resource and the type of carrier the content is contained in. Let us take the example of a user wanting to view a particular feature film, say “The Titanic,” on a specific type of player. What he or she really wants to know is that the content of the resource is a moving image, and that the carrier is either a videocassette or a DVD. The OPAC display should be able to make these characteristics explicit. (Ref: The Potential Impact of RDA on OPAC Displays by Philip Hider and Ann Huthwaite)

If you want to know more about RDA the National Library of Australia has a page of articles, links and presentations about RDA at their RDA webpage.
A slideshare presentation Tools of our trade by Ann Chapman of London Metropolitan University also neatly summarises the differences.

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