This Thursday around 80 cataloguers and cataloguing managers gathered at CILIP HQ to hear the latest developments in Resource Description and Access (RDA). The speakers at this year’s Executive Briefing came from the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, Oxford University Library Services, COPAC and UCL.
Despite both the Library of Congress’s and British Library’s statements that they will adopt RDA for all original catalogue records from quarter 1 2013 and the British Library’s already having begun to accept RDA records for their data service (on 1 June 2012), many people seemed unsure whether or not their library would move from AACR2 to RDA any time soon. As various speakers pointed out, one of the issues with RDA is that people have to change their workflows (resulting in temporary productivity drop) today for benefits in the future. As one speaker put it in the Q & A, “We’re still expecting people to work hard today for jam tomorrow.”
The room was somewhat appeased to hear that the National Library of Scotland will not be in a position to adopt RDA for all its processes until the beginning of 2014. Obviously, as one of the six UK copyright libraries, it takes part in the shared cataloguing programme and so will have to partake of some RDA, but rolling it out across its entire service will have to wait, according to Neil Nicholson, until things have settled down from the current restructure. Neil’s paper garnered the most debate from the floor: there was something remarkably freeing for the rest of us in hearing that even one of our three national libraries was grappling with the same issues most libraries are: time and timing. Time insofar as the productivity drop necessary to learn and implement a new major standard has to be allowed for in senior management plans and timing, as always with RDA, in terms of working out when exactly is the right moment to make the move. Read the rest of this entry ?