Getting ready for Resource Description and Access (RDA)

In the next issue of FYI Renate Beilharz explains all about RDA and the implications for school libraries. FYI editor Yso Ferguson gives us an outline of some of the resources and tips mentioned in Renate’s article.

Resource Description and Access (RDA) is a new standard of library cataloguing that is designed for the digital world. The RDA toolkit website describes the benefits of RDA as:

  • A structure based on the conceptual models of FRBR (functional requirements for bibliographic data) and FRAD (functional requirements for authority data) to help catalog users find the information they need more easily
  • A flexible framework for content description of digital resources that also serves the needs of libraries organizing traditional resources
  • A better fit with emerging database technologies, enabling institutions to introduce efficiencies in data capture and storage retrievals

In the next issue of FYI Renate Beilharz offers some tips for coming to grips with Resource Description and Access. The speed of the implementation depends on many factors. Important among these are:

  • What Library Management System (LMS) your library uses
  • Where your library’s cataloguing information comes from – it might be from SCIS or Libraries Australia or it might be original cataloguing

The main pieces of  advice to take away are:

  • You don’t need to panic as RDA and AACR records are compatible so you won’t have to retrospectively catalogue all old records. Expect to have both sorts of records in your catalogue for a long time.
  • For a general overview of what RDA record look like have a look at the RDA toolkit examples.
  • If you copy catalogue, you will need to find out what your record provider is doing about the introduction of RDA.
  • For schools using SCIS, RDA records will be introduced in May/June of this year.
  • More detailed information and explanation can be found by going to the SCIS blog
  • For schools using Libraries Australia , RDA records will begin in April 2013.
  • You can find out more by visiting the NLA’s Update on RDA implementation and Description of RDA
  • It is also a good idea to talk to your LMS provider to find out what they are doing to implement RDA.
  • Think about doing some training. There are various options. SLAV sponsored workshops will run in May and June. A list of commercial enterprises can be found through the Australian Committee on Cataloguing.
  •  Box Hill Institute is running some short courses. Search for Library Studies on their site.
  • You could also have a look some of the free online training materials such as the Australian Committee on Cataloguing (National Library of Australia), RDA Toolkit  & Library of Congress
  • Want to get started? Get the free 30 day trial, from the RDA Toolkit.