I was in library school during the transition from AACR1 to AACR2. My professor taught us two things: how to use a cataloging manual and how to form headings in AACR1. Because I'd learned to use the manual, rather than learned specific information from the manual, I was able to transition easily to AACR2 and it's various revisions. I have continued teaching interns and new catalogers how to use the manual rather than it's contents.
Unfortunately, I've been rather stymied in getting folks ready for RDA. We have a cataloging discussion group every other week and we spent several months of meetings trying to read the RDA manual and make sense of it. We were constantly coming across contradictions, which we thought might be resolvable if we had the automated version, which did not exist. (Does it even exist yet?). So we gave up, until it is generally available.
How to form headings in AACR1 and AACR2 seems to me to be a necessary skill regardless of cataloging manual, as records using those headings continue to persist in our tools, and all professionals need to recognize and deal with them at some time or other.
Technical Services and Systems
New York State Library
Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
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