May 1, 2008
The Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control submitted its final report, On the Record , to me on January 9, 2008. I have distributed the document to three groups within the Library of Congress for analysis and comment. I expect to respond formally to the report in
On the Record contains more than one hundred recommendations aimed at the Library of Congress, other specific organizations and entities, and to the broader library community. In the words of the members of the Working Group, they envision "a future for bibliographic control that will be collaborative, decentralized, international in scope, and Web-based...change will happen quickly, and bibliographic control will be dynamic, not static." The group urged the readers of the report to view it as a " 'call to action' that informs and broadens participation
in discussion and debate, conveys a sense of urgency, stimulates collaboration, and catalyzes thoughtful and deliberative action." The many recommendations suggest ways in which the necessary systemic change can take place.
When the Library of Congress issues its response, we will be focusing on how it will position itself to work in this new, networked, and collaborative environment, not simply on single recommendations. We recognize that any cataloging code (AACR2 or the proposed Resource Description and Access--RDA) is but a part of this environment.
It may seem counterintuitive that we issue a joint statement with our colleagues from the National Agricultural Library and the National Library of Medicine on RDA before we issue a full response to On the Record , but we do so because the international Joint Steering Committee
and the Committee of Principals continue their work, and because so many librarians are asking about the national libraries' plans to implement the proposed code.
We are pleased to report that we three libraries have worked together to establish an approach to the consideration of RDA in the attached joint statement.
We ask that you bear in mind that it is the entire bibliographic system that needs to be considered and reworked, and the cataloging code is only one small piece of the work that lies ahead.
Deanna B. Marcum
Associate Librarian for Library Services
The Library of Congress
Joint Statement of the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library on Resource Description