Monthly Archives: April 2013

RDA is here! Nothing to fear!

March 31, 2013 began the big switch from AACR2 to RDA for the Library of Congress. And today, April 1, 2013 my library switches to creating only new RDA records. Hooray!!!


To prepare for RDA, I watched over 12 hours hours of freely available online webinars hosted by ALCTS and the Library of Congress. ALCTS even has a YouTube channel devoted to RDA training! While some of the webinars were tedious and repetitive, they were all very informative. All in all it was incredibly valuable training and absolutely free! No need to hire expensive outside consultants and attend workshops. I easily was able to watch a webinar on my own time and learn the new standard.

Besides needing to learn the new standard myself, I also had to train my staff and update the entire library on the impact of RDA. So I organized three training sessions geared at three different levels:

  • RDA for Original Catalogers
  • RDA for Copy Catalogers
  • RDA for Everyone!

RDA for Original Catalogers focused on FRBR theory and terminology, the organization of RDA and the RDA Toolkit, and finally the practical application of RDA in MARC records. RDA for Copy Catalogers focused some on FRBR theory and terminology, a brief introduction to the RDAToolkit, the core differences between AACR2 and RDA, and the new guidelines for bibliographic verification for RDA records. Finally RDA for Everyone introduced a broad overview to the main differences folks will see in the OPAC.

After my training and then training my staff and colleagues on RDA, I feel very excited about the switch! RDA is absolutely a step in the right direction for the future of cataloging. Cramming it into MARC is one thing, but for now it works well enough. I don’t mind the extra typing, and I actually like the new 264 and 3XX fields. If RDA is the beginning of what’s to come for the future of library cataloging — I’m thrilled to be a part of all these changes.