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EDUCAT  April 2011

EDUCAT April 2011

Subject:

Re: like having 20 people in revision at the same time

From:

Erin Stalberg <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 09:31:20 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (52 lines)

Hi Buzz --

> but the biggest challenge now is
>> how to respond to students who say "Why should we be expected to learn AACR2
>> rules, since they're about to be overturned by RDA?"

I have been giving a three-part answer to this question:

(1) along the lines of what you've said: AACR2 is the current standard 
in use by most US libraries until the US RDA Test period results in a 
decision about RDA implementation and (if the decision is a go) until 
that implementation occurs.

(2) the transition is going to be longgggggggggggggg.  Even if 
implementation is a go and an immediate go, libraries will transition 
their new cataloging to RDA at varying speeds.  Additionally, libraries 
cannot easily afford to go back to old data. Hopefully, there will be 
some amount of global-data-upgrade, but that will cost vendors which 
will ultimately cost libraries.  And there needs to be cost/value 
assessment about what is worth upgrading v. not.  We'll be looking at 
and trying to figure out what to do with AACR2 data for quite a long 
time.  New catalogers coming into the profession are going to be key to 
that transition and need to understand what old data looks like and how 
to transform it efficiently & programmatically in new ways (or make it 
play well together with newly created data in newly created delivery 
systems)

(3)  job ads are going to start looking for people who can transition a 
library from AACR2 to RDA.  This includes both an understanding of the 
data (#2 above) and also an understanding of the implications for 
training/staffing/resource allocation of such a transition, and the 
complex ecosystem of the cooperative cataloging infrastructure.  New 
folks will need to understand what it means to transition a 
copy-cataloging unit, for example, what the cost/value implications are 
for continuing to accept AACR2 copy, implications for delivery systems, 
etc.

As others have been saying, we very much live now in a hybrid world of 
standards.  While I completely understand the teaching challenges of 
trying to fit in both AACR2 and RDA, I guess my general philosophy is 
that I am also responsible for teaching that transition is messy and 
long and that we need to strategize to get through it.  What better way 
to teach that transition is messy than to (frankly!) dump students into 
the middle of that very transition?  :-)

Erin Stalberg
Head, Metadata and Cataloging
North Carolina State University Libraries
(and Adjunct Professor at UNC Chapel Hill)
[log in to unmask]
919.515.5696

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