Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cat and Class Roundtable

The Cat and Class roundtable was given over to a discussion by four AALL catalogers who had tested RDA: Pat Sayre-McCoy at the University of Chicago, Pam Deemer at Emory, Lia Contursi at Columbia and Cindy May at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. All of them discussed what training materials they had used. Pat recommended the LC webinars (available with other LC training materials here) and the ALCTS RDA webinars (available here). She has also compiled a list of wikis and blogs which she found helpful, and would be willing to share that list via email to interested parties (psm1 AT Lia recommended Adam Schiff's document (they all seem to be listed here). Cindy recommended Mark Ehlert's webinars, which she called outstanding. (I can't seem to find this readily available on the web. It seems to be this, though. I'll check further.) Lia recommended Chris Oliver's book, Introducing RDA: a guide to the basics.

The main points I took from this session were: that the RDA Toolkit really is an online tool, and should be used online. There is a paper version, but Pat did not recommend using it. That collaboration and open discussion were really useful in trying to understand how to use RDA. That th RDA Toolkit is based on FRBR concepts, and that an understanding of FRBR concepts was necessary in order to make headway with the Tookit, as was a mapping feature to lead you from AACR2 areas to RDA areas. There is now a better index, which is also helpful. According to Lia, navigating the toolkit was the hard part -- actually cataloging in RDA was not so difficult, although Pam found that integrating resources were somewhat difficult.

When asked if the switch to RDA was worth all the bother, one cataloger said no, but two others said yes, and in a later session both Pat and Jean Pajerek at Cornell were actually excited about RDA. John Hostage, AALL's CC:DA rep, was asked the same question. He replied that staying with AACR2 was not really a long term possibilty, that the linking of library catalogs with the semantic web was inevitable, and not possible with MARC. According to him, this move will be a big adjustment, but is necessary in order to retain the relevance of libraries.

Poking around on the internet for this post has revealed this outline for a NOCALL program given by Stanford University's (and AALL member) Kathy Winzer on Stanford's experience as an RDA tester, with a lot of useful links.

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