March 22, 2013


The upcoming OCLC RDA policy implementation (March 31, 2013) should not have any effect on NHU-PAC users. We reviewed the OCLC plan (because all NHU-PAC records come from the OCLC WorldCat) when it was announced back in January and determined that NHU-PAC is set. The parts of the OCLC policy that relate to NHU-PAC boil down to this:

  • OCLC WorldCat will continue to include both AACR2 and RDA records. So will NHU-PAC, as it has for several years now (see New RDA Field post).
  • MARC fields that are new to the RDA format will need to be added to display and search mappings in local systems (including NHU-PAC) if the library feels the information in those fields is important to their users. We made the needed changes to NHU-PAC search and display for the 264 tag. We determined that no other tags needed to be accommodated in NHU-PAC displays. If you wish to see the full record with all the tags use the 'marc display' toggle on the bottom of the left hand panel of a record display.
  • A new record MAY not be added to WorldCat if there is an existing record in the library's language of cataloging for the item in hand regardless of the cataloging standard (RDA or AACR2) of the record. This fact requires that NHU-PAC continue to include both formats of record.
  • New records being added to WorldCat may continue to be AACR2, or they may be RDA. The NHAIS Services Original Cataloging Program will continue to create records that comply with AACR2.  We will not be transitioning to RDA in the foreseeable future.
When the Library of Congress implements RDA, that change will probably result in more OCLC records being RDA instead of AACR2, but will otherwise have no impact on NHU-PAC users.

NHAIS Libraries that download records for their local systems from NHU-PAC will have (and have had since 2010)  both AACR2 records and RDA records in their local systems. They should check that the records both search and display the way they want them to. If they don't, you will need to work with your local system vendor to make any needed changes. If you get records from sources other than NHU-PAC, you will need to find out what those sources are doing regarding the RDA transition if you want to know what you are adding to your local catalog.

Basically three options are available to a library regarding RDA:
  1. Maintain a hybrid catalog with both AACR2 and RDA records in it.
    I think this is the best plan and it is what NHSL (both Technical Services and NHAIS) is doing.
  2. Keep only AACR2 records in your catalog -- this will drastically limit your ability to use cataloging records from sources beyond your own library as more record sources move to RDA without significant editing of each record.
  3. Transition your catalog entirely to RDA -- this will require you to re-catalog every item in your catalog to the new standard as well as revising any shared records for new materials that were cataloged by other libraries to the AACR2 standard.

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