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RDA: it’s not that scary

By Phillip Green, Lucidea COO

We’ve had a lot of questions recently about RDA compliance, RDA readiness, the future of RDA, and even, "what is RDA?" We’ve decided to dive deep into the mystique surrounding RDA and lay it bare for all to see.
First things first. What is RDA? At its core, RDA (Resource Description and Access) is the third revision of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, which have been adapted for today’s world (e.g., Web-based) and not just for printed materials and in a library. RDA is simply a way to take the most recent cataloging standard and move it out of the library-centric, back-office world and make it work in today's Web-centric, Google world.

Some of the key principles are:
  • Elimination of Latin abbreviations; rules may remove all abbreviations unless used in the resource
  • Serve as a new content standard for description and access
  • Function best as an interactive, online tool
  • Improve cataloging instructions for non-print resources
  • Separate rules for recording and presentation of data elements
  • Eliminate redundancy
  • Incorporate rules for authority control
Because RDA is about making cataloging fit in today's Web-enabled world, we believe it’s a good thing. We need to move to standards that enable and encourage "findability" (if we may be so bold as to make up words under the watch of librarians) via the methods and standards of today, e.g., Google, Bing, etc. The fact is, people do not go to the library and ask the research desk for help as much as they used to…they now open their iPad and Google a topic to find what they’re looking for. If librarians want resources that they catalog to be part of this modern scenario, we need to move to standards like RDA.

The good news is that Lucidea software (Inmagic Genie, SydneyPLUS ILS, DB/TextWorks, Information Manager, Presto, CuadraSTAR) already supports RDA because we provide the flexibility to add fields as needed to meet RDA requirements, and the ability to adapt to an RDA-compliant cataloging process. Our customers are armed and ready for the modern, Internet-enabled world of information management.

Here are some interesting links to provide more background.  (this is a previous post on RDA by our partner SydneyPLUS)



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