RDA Survey for Catalogers

This survey is now closed.

Thank you to the over 200 people who participated!

Just a little note in case anyone was wondering.? Yes I am still planning on releasing the results.? Unfortunately it takes a lot of time to hand code the results, I’ve only coded about 150 so far, that being the case I don’t expect to release the results till sometime in July since school, job applications, and my brother’s imminent wedding are my priorities through the end of June.? Thank you again to all who participated, the results are very interesting, and I look forward to sharing them with you all.

15 thoughts on “RDA Survey for Catalogers”

  1. The timing on this could not be worse. Here in CA, we are having unprecedented state budget problems. As a result, many institutions (including my own) have cut back on cataloging staff to the bare minimum … and to have to take on a new set of cataloging at the same time when we are cutting back on cataloging is certainly a great concern to me.

  2. RDA records will be compatible with AACR2 records so why is conversion necessary. There will never be a perfectly uniform catalog!

  3. The question on how well RDA will improve results for end users isn’t complete enough…RDA alone can’t really make that happen. Our ILSs and OPACs need to be better designed to take advantage of the changes in RDA to make full FRBRization work well. That WOULD improve results for end users.

  4. I agree with arkham’s comment, that RDA alone will not have a measurable effect on the user’s search experience. The front end that we use to display the search engine and results has the most impact on how they search and how they feel about the catalog.

  5. Training will be an issue– how will people get it and where will they get it– or will we all be left to our own devices. The cost of RDA is also problemmatic. Both of these issues will be difficult since so many libraries are cutting staff, hours, services, acquisitions’ budgets, etc.

  6. Ellett seems to anticipate whether conversion is necessary. Marschall seems also to state a valid point. Poole raises interesting points, as well. Experience in its use will dictate how easily and satisfied users will feel about their results.

  7. People can begin to prepare for RDA right now by becoming familiar with FRBR, its terminology and concepts. Additionally, there is a huge amount of information about RDA available on the JSC website. Yes, RDA will take work and we will need to readjust our thinking but how wonderful it will be to pull together the different versions/manifestations, editions, etc. of a single work as well as to show its relationship to related works.

  8. I know that we’ve gotten lots of reassurances that RDA records will be compatible with AACR2 records, but I’ll believe that when I see it. If RDA is supposed to improve things as much as some people say, I don’t really see how “compatibility” could be possible.

    I also agree that it’s our ILSs and OPACs that need work as well. In fact, I’d prefer changes to begin in that arena. I’m tired of adding and editing information in records that my ILS and OPAC don’t make use of. At the moment, it feels like catalogers are being asked to bear the biggest burden while our ILS vendors twiddle their thumbs.

  9. Haven’t heard anything about our libraries having any preparation for the grand arrival of RDA. I am concerned about the timeliness and the transition issues regarding training. I expect that every innovative standard (no matter how necessary) will have its bugs initially. It’s just a matter of a series of modifications, addenda, and getting used to it over time.

  10. Because it has not been officially published yet nor extensively tested in practice, the questions asked in this survey seem a bit premature. Training of the selected testing institutions is supposed to begin in January 2010. What we have so far are theoretical conclusions, although probably accurate, based on intelligent reading of drafts, literature, blogs, forums, attending programs, and learning about or working with FRBR projects, but not RDA in full practice. Belonging to one of the institutions that will be testing RDA, I am, at this point, neutral.

  11. Pamela,

    The point of this survey is not to stand alone but to be a measure of what people think before RDA is implemented. There will be at least one more survey, possibly two, tracking people’s perceptions at the end of 2010 / beginning of 2011. Depending on the results from that there will possibly be a third survey in 2013. People’s answers, especially their concerns, will shape the questions for the second survey.

    Thank you to everyone who has filled out the survey and commented.

  12. All questions assume adoption of RDA, which is not a given.

    Question are often either/or, not allowing a correct answer. For example, retrospective conversion: we would (in order to avoid editing current records), remove “N.T.” and “O.T.” between Bible and book in 130, and spell out when the whole collection; but we can not retrospectively supply author names in 245/$c when omitted because of the rule of three, nor safely change main entry. We can not adopt some aspects at all, e.g., “language of the catalogue” replacing ISBD Latin abbreviations; we support catalogues with a variety of languages.

    Most of the objectives of RDA could better be achieved by development of ILS’s.

  13. I agree with the comments about the survey’s assumption that RDA will impact searching and retrieval when actually the development in ILS and FRBR, etc. are really the things that will have the greatest influence on the catalogs of the future. I echo Mac Elrod’s concern with the limited choices in the answers. Because we work for other libraries we will allow both AACR2 and RDA; we will only convert records if a library has a system that wants data in a newly RDA defined field and then it will probably just involve moving or copying that specific data in the new field, not converting the entire record.

  14. Mary, Mac Elrod, regarding assuming RDA will impact searching, I chose to ask that question because I have seen many posts by people who think that RDA will impact searching. In fact most of the questions were structured after disagreements I have seen in RDA posts to mailing list and blogs. Several people in their write in answers have stated some form of “convert some local records or shared records as needed/desired”. In many ways this survey is less about the realities of RDA, which will not be fully understood until someone has used it consistently over time, but over peoples perceptions of what RDA is. Given that several perceptions held by people are mutually contradictory it is inevitable that some of them will be proven false. But, how people feel will influence their organizations adoption or ignoring of RDA, rates of change/improvement of RDA, and, if the nay sayers are correct about RDA’s flaws, possibly the abandonment of RDA for a yet to be developed system. Personally, I find the entire debate fascinating.

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