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Thursday, October 15, 2009


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I'm a bit skeptical about this being a real alternative to RDA.

And I really think it's a bit early to say we're just not going to implement RDA, period, regardless of what the national libraries do, or what is widely adopted elsewhere.

Christine Schwartz

Hi arkham,

I hate to weigh in because I haven't taken a close look at the wiki yet. But I'm sort of skeptical too.

For now I'm planning on using RDA.


Hi guys,

I agree. I think it's still too early to say that RDA won't be implemented. Do I think it'll be widely used? Nope but not having messed around with a live version of RDA I can't say what will happen. Seems a bit premature since there won't be any Library goons forcing us to switch to RDA as soon as it's unleashed.

Christine Schwartz

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks for the comment. My problem with non-implementation of RDA is that AACR2 hasn't been updated since 2005. While I think AACR2 is a great cataloging code, it's not a living document any longer.

One thing I do like about RDA is that it separates presentation from field/string content. That's how XML works and most library metadata is in XML (of course, MARC can easily be morphed into MARCXML too!)

Anyone want to make a case for non-implementation?


We’re a group of students of Library and Information Science. We are interested on the RDA implementation.
We think that the new standard of cataloguing digital resources is useful because it has a lot of advantages: it is an update of the old rules which considers electronic sources, it is compatible with the AACR2 and it adapts to new information technologies. That’s why we think it is necessary to implement the RDA which will allow professionals to describe and access resources in any language. However, an alternative is interesting for those professionals who disagree with the implementation of RDA. Cooperative Cataloging Wiki initiative is a good alternative because any professional can contribute to the updating of the rules and it is also supervised by a group of experts.

In conclusion, we support the RDA implementation even we understand that some professionals may prefer an alternative.

Christine Schwartz

Hi LIS students,

Thanks for your comment!


AACR3 turned into RDA, and ICP has been developed for world-wide use. Why the push for another new way for catalogs to not be able to work together or share?

James Weinheimer

A lot of the impetus for the Cooperative Cataloging Rules Wiki is financial. Do not underestimate the costs of retraining, online subscriptions to RDA, rewriting local documentation and so forth. At this time, many libraries simply *cannot* do it, no matter whether they may, or may not, want to implement RDA.

Also, in answer to Christine Schwartz, AACR2 is updated regularly through the additions of the LC Rule Interpretations, which is what the CCR Wiki contains.

The libraries that cannot (or will not) implement must have options. With the CCR Wiki, there is one; otherwise there was nothing at all. It was my own idea that such an open development project would occur sooner or later, and that librarians should be involved.

There is a lot more in the discussions going on at NGC4LIB.

Christine Schwartz

Hi Suzie,

You make a good point about a proliferation of new standards and whether or not we can share our work. That's an important point. We have seen the benefit of shared standards with MARC/AACR2 and our ability to copy catalog library resources because of these standards.

Hi James,

Thanks for weighing in with the rationale for the Cooperative Cataloging Rules. I think LCRI is a wonderful cataloging document, but LC is planning on closing it when (and if) they implement RDA. I still feel the same about AACR2/LCRI, I may wish they were the developing standards, but their not. However, you're not alone in feeling that RDA is not a good replacement for AACR2. So, your solution is a definite option.

As far as the costs, I think an institution could choose to implement RDA gradually. The cost of RDA Online is crucial for this decision, I'll give you that, but so far I haven't seen a price for it.

As far as training and documentation, I just feel we're in a time where self-learning and free webinars are going to have to suffice because of library budgets. I really think self-learning is the way to go with changes in our field (e.g., a book on XML is a lot cheaper than a course on XML). I also realize that people learn differently and some people do better in a classroom setting with an instructor.


I don't really agree with the idea that retraining for RDA is going to be a major expense. From what I've seen in RDA, there aren't that many things that will significantly change how catalogers do their jobs.

In a full implementation of RDA, there may be some changes, but really, the ILS software should be where the majority changes will be made.

The cost of a subscription is still a question - until pricing becomes available, it's hard to say how much impact it will have. If it costs too much, we may not be able to implement here unless we change our cataloging workflow significantly.

I absolutely agree with AACR2 no longer being a living document. No update in 14 years is just not viable in today's environment. Live updates to rules as changes are made are a necessity, and in theory, RDA online would make that possible

Christine Schwartz

Hi arkham,

I agree with you on all points. One modification though: the last set of updates to AACR2 was issued in 2005. But five years is a long time in my opinion.

I guess the bottom line for me is that we do need to think about data models for library metadata. And I think FRBR is a worthy model.

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