Monday, March 31, 2014

Major RDA Update Scheduled for April 22

The RDA Toolkit is scheduled for a major update on April 22, 2014. This update is the culmination of months of discussion  and consideration by the Joint Steering Committee and other members of the library community. For law catalogers, a highlight of the update is the long-awaited changes to the instructions having to do with treaties. Initiated by AALL member John Hostage, and shepherded through the approval process by Kathy Glennan (ALA representative to the JSC), these are major changes that assure that pretty much every heading for a treaty created under AACR2 will have to be changed. The official JSC document that specifies the changes is available at :; it was updated on March 24, 2014. At the very least, treaties for which the authorized access point is already the official title of the treaty, qualified by year, will have to be qualified by not just a year, but also a month and day (per, for example:

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ǂd (1982 December 10).

Treaties that in the past have been entered under the name of a government will undergo more radical changes. For example, this well-known treaty:

Canada. ǂt Treaties, etc. ǂd 1992 October 7
North American Free Trade Agreement ǂd (1992 October 7)

A new instruction,, tells us how to record participants in a treaty, and is complemented by a new relationship designator in appendix I.2.2, "participant in a treaty." The conventional collective title "Treaties, etc." will no longer be used as part of the preferred title for a treaty or for a compilation of treaties.

The update will include many other changes as well, some of them pertaining to specialized areas of cataloging such as music, while others have broad applicability. An example of the latter type of change is the elimination of the relationship designator "editor of compilation." This relationship designator will be dropped in favor of the single term "editor."

Mark Ehlert of Minitex has compiled a very useful summary of the major changes that are included the April update, available at: He cites to the JSC source documents pertaining to the changes and provides MARC examples to further facilitate understanding. The summary includes a link to a Google spreadsheet compiled by Ehlert listing new and revised relationship designators.

Long-Term Preservation of Digital Objects

Over the last decade institutional repositories have grown by leaps and bounds. In theory, that would imply that the use of administrative metadata associated with digital objects has done the same. In a recent survey of ARL libraries, Administrative Metadata for Long-Term Preservation and Management of Resources: A Survey of Current Practices in ARL Libraries, Jane Johnson Otto found that this is, in fact, not true. A quick disclaimer: the survey dealt specifically with the elements that were available within a given schema.  It did not account for administrative information that may be present in an unrelated element.

While some individual libraries are utilizing administrative metadata extensively, the averages among the 54 libraries that responded to this survey show that the lack of preservation and administrative metadata (which includes technical, rights, and preservation information) continues to be a hindrance to long-term preservation. Part of the problem is that institutional repositories are not being developed in a way that accommodates extensive administrative metadata. The lack of elements within a given schema that are structured for this sort of metadata means that even when the information is being included, it is not in a form that is machine readable and is thus less likely to be located. Ultimately this points to the need to develop best practices for the use of administrative metadata to ensure that the proper information is being collected and that it can and is being associated with the proper elements.

The published version of this article is available as follows: “Administrative Metadata for Long-Term Preservation and Management of Resources: A Survey of Current Practices in ARL Libraries,” Library Resources and Technical Services 58: 1 (January 2014).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

PCC Guidelines: relationship designators in NACO authority records

The PCC Policy Committee has announced that draft PCC Guidelines: Relationship Designators in NACO authority records are now available  for comment on the PCC Post RDA Implementation Guidelines and Standards website.  Additionally, you can link directly to the proposed guidelines. 

These guidelines provide examples for use of RDA Appendix I, J or K relationship designators to relate authority records in the LC/NACO Authority file. Guideline 6 : Use of $i in relationship links between corporate entities and the names of other persons or families provides an optional structure to relate an individual to a firm, or a firm to and individual, such as its founder.  Guideline 8: Relationship links between non-jurisdictional corporate entities outlines replacement of the former practice of using subfield $w values "a" (earlier name) or "b" (later name) with RDA Appendix K relationship designators using subfield $i and subfield $w value "r".  Additional guidelines cover hierarchical relationships for related corporate bodies and relationships between works and expressions.

Comments can be sent to until April 15, 2014 and will be discussed at the Operations Committee meeting in May. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Digital Publishing: The Next Library Skill

Librarians have embraced the Internet and mastered the web, and they are building profiles in social media. These have become the core skills. Now they have yet another exciting opportunity from a not-so-new industry -- publishing. The barriers to all modes of digital publishing have been dropping for years, challenging established publishers to rethink their missions and change with the times or face obsolescence. Indeed, contributors along the full spectrum of the information life cycle are being challenged to add new digital media skills. Where to begin is a question faced by librarians considering jumping into digital publishing. All the indicators suggest that they should ask if it should become a core competency. However, taking that leap can be tough: Budget realities impinge on their actions and always have -- launching new services can be risky. Given the stakes, it is crucial to be strategic and opportunistic in building a digital publishing program, using whatever means are available.

See article by Terence K. Huwe at

New OCLC Research report provides evidence base for shift to shared print management approach

OCLC Research has released a new report, "Understanding the Collective Collection: Towards a System-wide Perspective on Library Print Collections," which establishes evidence that has allowed and encouraged libraries to begin the shift from local provisioning of library collections and services to increased reliance on cooperative infrastructure, collective collections, shared technology platforms, and "above-the-institution" management strategies.

See article at

Fail to prepare for digitisation, prepare to fail at digitising!

Planning a digitisation project can be a lengthy process with consideration required for strategic alignment, funding models, workflow, and metadata – all of which should be led by a clear definition of the overall purpose of the digitisation project. What must also be considered are the practical aspects of digitisation bearing in mind the condition and format of items, and identifying what needs to be done to items to make them camera ready.

See more at:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bibliographic Framework Initiative Update, January 26, 2014

A recorded webcast of the Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME) update that was presented at ALA Midwinter in January is now available at: Sally McCallum of the Network Development and MARC Standards Office at the Library of Congress is the first presenter. She discusses, in general terms, some of the experimentation with BIBFRAME that has taken place during the last year or so. She says that in 2014, emphasis will be placed on the development of test implementations;  a registry of BIBFRAME implementations has been set up to keep track of who is doing what with BIBFRAME, and can be viewed at: McCallum foresees a dual BIBFRAME/MARC environment existing for ten years. The next two speakers, Reinhold Heuvelmann of the German National Library, and Jackie Shieh of George Washington University Libraries, report on their experiences as early experimenters with BIBFRAME. Their projects are described in the above-mentioned implementation registry. The final speaker is Eric Miller of Zepheira, developer of BIBFRAME. Part of Miller's presentation involves a brief demonstration of a prototype BIBFRAME editor, which lends a welcome dimension of concreteness to the  relatively abstract discussions we've heard about BIBFRAME so far. You can actually see the prototype BIBFRAME editor at: