The Resource Description and Access (RDA) Linked Data Forum took place at the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Monday, February 12. It was co-sponsored by ALA, ALCTS, the Association of Collection & Research Libraries (ACRL), and the Reference & User Services Association (RUSA). Three presenters discussed ways in which linked data was impacting RDA.
Steven Folsom (Cornell University) presented “non-RDA is the New non-MARC: bibliotek-o and RDA.” Bibliotek-o is an ontology framework for modeling bibliographic metadata. Folsom said that Linked Data for Libraries (LD4L) uses bibliotek-o as a way to evaluate Bibliographic Framework (BIBFRAME). All work is frozen on bibliotek-o, and partners are now working in BIBFRAME. Folsom provided examples of how bibliotek-o interacts with RDA. He said that libraries no longer “call all the shots” on bibliographic description, and he would like us to consider what rules within RDA are rigid and which could be more flexible. Going forward, he feels it is important to document issues to work on to make a more usable RDA. Folsom ended by saying that linked data has a chance to bridge the gap between MARC and non-MARC practices. His hope is to ultimately use a similar set of standards across workflows.
Kathy Glennan (University of Maryland, College Park) presented “RDA and Linked Data.” Glennan is currently the Chair-Elect of the RDA Steering Committee. She gave a brief history of the RDA text and then discussed it as linked data. RDA is more than just cataloging rules; it is becoming more of a data dictionary. RDA has different pieces for different types of users: RDA Reference, RDA vocabularies, the RDA Registry, the RDA Vocabulary Server, and the RDA Toolkit. The RDA Toolkit is the only part of RDA that is not freely available.
Glennan also discussed RDA in Many Metadata Formats (RIMMF3). RIMMF3 is a visualization and cataloging training tool developed by Richard and Deborah Fritz (TMQ Inc.). It is free and available for download. It is a prototype of what RDA can look like out of the confines of schema, such as MARC or BIBFRAME. When asked more about RIMMF3, Glennan gave an example of how it worked with 75 Jim Henson videos held at the University of Maryland. She said over 800 records were created using RIMMF3.
James Hennelly (ALA Publishing) presented “Representing Linked Data in RDA Examples” on behalf of Kate James of the Library of Congress. The RDA Toolkit is currently being redesigned. Hennelly discussed what changes users of the Toolkit could expect when the update is released to subscribers. One of the major things being added to the RDA Toolkit are examples of linked data. Hennelly showed the audience an example of what to expect from the RDA Toolkit.