How is Libraries Australia planning to implement RDA?

The National Library of Australia, along with the Library of Congress, British Library, Library & Archives Canada, U.S. National Agricultural Library, and U.S. National Library of Medicine have agreed to implement RDA in the first quarter of 2013.

During the past year, Libraries Australia has undertaken a major project to identify and specify all of the system changes required to support RDA. In addition to support for the new MARC 21 fields, changes will be required in record matching and merging, indexes, record displays, and cataloguing templates. We are currently testing an update to the Libraries Australia Cataloguing system (CBS) configuration that contains the RDA-related MARC21 changes (including display and indexing of the data elements) and expect to implement it by the middle of the year. This will allow RDA records to be added to Libraries Australia. The RDA changes will flow into Trove at the same time.

There have been a small number of RDA records, created during the U.S. testing, that have already been added to Libraries Australia. Currently the RDA fields (e.g. 33X fields) aren’t supported in LA and have been deleted when the records are added to LA. Once we have implemented the RDA MARC fields, we plan to re-insert these fields in the affected records.

Later in the year we will implement system changes to support the matching and merging of RDA records. We are investigating what we can reasonably do to convert existing AACR2 data elements to RDA. In many cases this is not possible as there isn’t a direct one-to-one correlation between AACR2 and RDA data elements. An example of a change that we can make is to convert the Uniform Title headings for the Bible to the new RDA form.

Prior to the RDA implementation data, Libraries Australia policy is that cataloguers should use existing ANBD records without making changes that convert AACR2 records to RDA or vice versa. This recognizes that over the coming months libraries will be at different stages of RDA implementation and aims to balance the interests of all. After the implementation date, RDA will be the Libraries Australia standard for new records and AACR2 records can be upgraded to RDA if the cataloguer considers this useful. The Libraries Australia minimum record standard will also be amended to reflect RDA. More detailed advice regarding cataloguing policy changes will be provided well in advance of the RDA implementation date.

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