RDA Forum: 2018 Annual Conference

The RDA (Resource Description and Access) Forum was held at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 23, with over 100 people in attendance.

Dominique Bourassa (Yale University), chair of the North American RDA Committee (NARDAC), gave a report titled “News from NARDAC: The North American Region Takes Shape.” She outlined the structure and purpose of this regional group, its membership and meeting calendar, and some of the activities that NARDAC has undertaken. NARDAC will be a lightweight group through which all North American proposals for changes to RDA will be funneled to the RDA Steering Committee. Bourassa’s presentation slides will be posted on the NARDAC website.

The second presentation, “RSC/ISSN IC Common Views on IFLA LRM Alignment for Continuing Resources” was given by Clément Oury (Data, Network, and Standards Department, ISSN International Centre). Oury described the purpose and role of the ISSN International Centre, its relationship with the RDA Steering Committee, and the work that the two groups have done together to move the concepts of the IFLA Library Reference Model into mutually acceptable and practical cataloging techniques for diachronic works (i.e. continuing resources). A fuller version of this talk was given at the RDA preconference, and those slides are posted on the presentations page of the RSC website.

James Hennelly (ALA Digital Reference) gave a brief demonstration of the beta Toolkit, which was publicly released on June 13, 2018. A log-in to the current Toolkit is required to access the beta Toolkit; there is a button on the current site that links to the beta site. The beta Toolkit is a preliminary version of the new RDA Toolkit that is being developed by the 3R Project. An expanded version of Hennelly’s presentation is available with audio and video on the RDA Toolkit blog.

The final presentation was by Gordon Dunsire, chair of the RDA Steering Committee, who spoke about the RDA content in the beta Toolkit and how it has changed from the original Toolkit. He stressed that the beta Toolkit instructions and guidance should not be used by catalogers in their current work because the instructions in the beta Toolkit are under development and may be changed without notice. The RDA Steering Committee welcomes user feedback on the beta Toolkit via a feedback form on the RDA Toolkit blog. Dunsire’s talk was an abbreviated version of a talk given at the RDA preconference; the fuller version can be found on the presentations page of the RSC website.

Members of the audience asked questions about RDA sub-elements and element sub-types (which are displayed in a Related Elements section for each element), instruction numbering (see the recent Statement on Instruction Numbering and RDA Toolkit Instruction Identification document), the timeline for finalizing the beta Toolkit (after the text is stable and is approved by both the RSC and the RDA Board), and the plans for archiving and providing revision history for RDA instructions and guidance (which are still actively being worked on).

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