Archive for the ‘cataloguing’ Category


Oxford University RDA Implementation

April 3, 2013

Following on from Alan’s and Celine’s statements about RDA implementation at the British Library and Cambridge University Library, today Bernadette O’Reilly shared the Oxford University / Bodleian ‘s position with LIS-UKBIBS:

Dear colleagues,

You may also be interested to know that OLIS, the community of Bodleian
and other Oxford University libraries, has been implementing RDA for
modern BK material over the past month and will implement for SE
materials at the end of this month. Our MU specialists implemented RDA
in February and our MP specialists are now moving to RDA, but
non-specialists will keep to AACR2 for the moment. We will soon begin
work on documentation for other types of material and will implement for
each type once the documentation is ready.

Any downloaded records or records already in our database which need
upgrading or significant editing will be converted to RDA, but most
records in our database will remain as AACR2 for the foreseeable future,
and newly-downloaded full-level AACR2 records from reliable sources will
be left as AACR2. This means that our BNB contributions will be mainly
RDA from now on but may include a few high-quality derived AACR2

We will not add GMDs to RDA records, of course, but for the convenience
of catalogue users GMD-like elements will be generated in our public
resource discovery system, as a stopgap. If/when we get a discovery
system which can make good use of 33X fields we will probably add 33X
fields to AACR2 records.

We are very grateful for all the help and advice we have received from
other agencies, especially for the generosity of the British Library in
sharing documentation and specialist training.

As we might have expected of the Bodley’s Catalogue Support Services, user experience is key here: consistency and predictability of search have been considered, with information formerly found in AACR2’s General Material Designations “generated in our public resource discovery system, as a stopgap.”

Again, we can see the hybrid environment in evidence, with “full-level AACR2 records from reliable sources” co-existing alongside RDA records. Cutter would approve.

It’s also good to see evidence of the UK cataloguing community’s sharing attitude, led, as is often the case, by the BL.

Again, it’s really helpful to know who is implementing RDA and the attitudes they are taking to legacy data, and I hope we’ll be seeing more announcements from other cataloguing agencies in the near future.

Image source: via Anne on Pinterest


RDA at the BL

April 2, 2013

Today Alan Danskin, Metadata Manager at the British Library, sent the following announcement to LIS-UKBIBS:

From the 1st April 2013RDA : Resource Description and Access, replaced the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition, as the British Library’s official descriptive cataloguing standard, for records added to the British National Bibliography and British Library MARC Exchange files.

British Library exchange files will continue to contain a mix of RDA and AACR2 records over the foreseeable future.  The Library will continue to re-use AACR2 records when no equivalent RDA record is available. DCRM will continue to be used, where appropriate, for the description of rare materials, but authorised access points and  other elements that are out of scope of DCRM will be constructed following RDA, not AACR2.

The Library has a commitment to the enhancement of its legacy data; including records converted from printed catalogues.  Amendments to these records will generally be made in conformance with RDA. Records will not be re-coded as RDA unless fully upgraded

The Library’s contribution to LC/NACO Name Authority File  switched to RDA during 2012.

It’s particularly helpful to read the penultimate paragraph, on the handling of legacy data. As always when considering major changes to cataloguing standards, records created under previous systems pose a real challenge to workflows, and it’s useful to have an indication here of the attitude our national library is taking to such records.

The statement also underlines assertions made elsewhere that we are cataloguing within a hybrid environment, in which RDA and AACR records will continue to co-exist for some time.

As Celine Carty pointed out on Thursday, when she announced Cambridge University Library’s transition to RDA for new records from 31 March, “We have not seen many formal announcements of RDA implementation from other institutions,” but I hope that we soon will: it’s extremely helpful to know the standard(s) in use across the UK. We know as a point of history that UKMARC has still not faded into obsolescence, and I am sure I am not alone in the cataloguing community in being curious to follow the spread of RDA: contrary to the suggestion of the image I’ve chosen for this post, in our hybrid cataloguing world, no standard is ever entirely obsolete.


Image source: via Anne on Pinterest


Cataloguing and Metadata Goodness, Forthcoming from Facet

January 17, 2013

Screen shot 2013-01-17 at 20.23.23I always enjoy browsing the Facet catalogue, and this year has a particularly good range of new books on cataloguing coming out (and, no, I’m not talking about my own).

First up, in February, the cartographic community will be pleased to see Larsgaard and Andrew’s RDA and Cartographic Materials. I’m certainly hoping it hits the shelves before I teach the map cataloguing class in INSTG005 (Advanced Cataloguing and Classification)!

Sally Chambers’s edited collection on the evolution and future of the OPAC, Catalogue 2.0 is due out in March. Also in March and closer in coverage to our current activities, Magda El-Sherbini’s RDA: Strategies for Implementation is a must-read. Its description and hints for using the RDA Toolkit may be of passing interest, but the chapters on FRBR will stand the test of time, and the discussion of RDA’s impact on OPAC display meet a long-held demand within the community.

And, of course, we are all awaiting Maxwell’s Handbook for RDA, due out in November. This will, at last, unpack the detail of RDA in plain English.

Karen Calhoun’s Digital Libraries will be worth a perusal. According to the blurb, there is a section covering “metadata, standards, interoperability” and Calhoun’s opinions and predictions are always valuable. Foster and Rafferty’s Managing Digital Cultural Objects will also be a welcome addition to the cataloguing bookshelves. And then there are all the Information Management and Digital Curation titles.

It’s noticeable that there’s still no publication date announced for the RDA Element Set


New Book: Cataloguing and Decision-Making in a Hybrid Environment

January 17, 2013

So, you know that I and others in the cataloguing community are talking a lot about the hybrid environment? Well, I’m pleased to be able to announce the new book I’m writing for Facet, due for submission in August and available from December 2013:

Screen shot 2013-01-17 at 20.15.03

Image: Facet Publishing. New Titles and Key Backlist 2013. (*Lots* of other cataloguing and library goodness in there).


Future Skills and Future Roles

January 14, 2013

Umbrella2013 logo cropped AAs a professional discipline, it’s vital that Information Studies syllabi are in touch with practice. I’m really thrilled, therefore, to be attending my first ever Umbrella conference, and delivering a paper in its stream on “Future Skills and Future Roles.”

I’m looking forward to seeing the other papers that have been accepted in this stream (and, before then, to the uklibchat session at Library Camp London on ‘Design Your Own Library and Information Qualification‘). For now, here’s the abstract of my paper, which will be published in the proceedings (Facet, 2013):

Taking up the theme of ‘standards and qualifications that society can trust,’ this paper explores the role of practitioners in the education of the next generation of information professionals.

After a brief review of alternative models of praxis in LIS qualifications, including the old Library Association exams and the US model of library schools based alongside university libraries, the impact of communities of practice on career entrants is explored.  The extent to which information professionals are involved in the MA LIS is highlighted; the roles they play as guest lecturers, sessional lecturers and external examiners; and the influence they exert as employers of newly qualified librarians.

Finally, this paper argues that when we talk about ‘knowledge transfer’ and ‘links between research and practice,’ information should flow in both directions: from academe to practitioners and vice versa. It is asserted that the aim should be a virtuous circle of professional education that evolves to meet current and future information service needs. In this model, practitioners identify research issues; academics conduct research (ideally collaboratively with colleagues in practice); research-led teaching at Masters level encourages new professionals to focus on real-world issues in the application of their research skills; new professionals become research-engaged practitioners who identify research issues; and repeat ad infinitum.

With new international cataloguing code Resource Description and Acccess (RDA) being implemented, a brief case study from UK cataloguing is presented, and ways in which practitioners and academics are working together to create new knowledge are demonstrated.

At the conference itself, I’ll present a shorter version, highlighting how practitioners are and can be involved in the delivery and evolution of the MA LIS.


Cataloguing in the Hybrid Environment

December 19, 2012

Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 14.52.37

Term was upon me too quickly to find time to blog about the Cataloguing and Indexing Group Conference in Sheffield this year, so it’s good to be able to point you to the latest Catalogue & Index, which includes overviews of the event by Katie Flanagan and Steve Carlton, as well as versions of most of the papers.

With Kate Whaite, I spoke about some of the work I’ve been doing, reviewing publications about previous changes in cataloguing standards, and we presented some lessons that current day cataloguers can learn from the experiences of earlier changes. Kate also gave a short paper on her MA LIS and PhD research into cataloguing history. There were also great papers from, amongst others, Katrina Clifford, Helen Williams, Celine Carty, Stuart Hunt, Lucy Bell, Jennie-Claire Perry and the always inspiring Heather Jardine, a version of whose paper is also available on the City of London Bibliographic Services Section blog.

As we find ourselves moving forward into the 21st century hybrid cataloguing environment, it is worth remembering that Cutter himself was unfazed by the co-existence of records created under differing standards. All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well, etc.


Image: slide from Anne Welsh and Katharine Whaite. Our Hybrid History and its Action Points for Today. Cataloguing and Indexing Group Conference 2012 (ppt).


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