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The RDA Coordinating Committee has responded publicly to my email to them
(thanks to all others who may have also emailed them, prompting a quick
response). See below for the complete message, forwarded from OCLC-CAT.

Some items of note from the response:

"While testers were deliberately asked to take a very literal/strict
interpretation of the RDA rules when determining a full RDA form of a
heading, we recognize that most AACR2 forms are compatible with RDA without
adding all possible qualifying information to the heading." This would seem
to support our contention that headings like, for example, Elvis, are fine
as is, and aren't, as one RDA supporter claimed, incompatible with the new
rule set.

Hopefully, this sensible reasoning would lead to most authority headings
not flipped to their RDA counterparts, when changes are solely cosmetic. I
am a bit concerned about this, though. "Who will make the final
determination as to which headings do and do not get flipped has not yet
been determined." I would have hoped that this would be known--at least who
the parties were who would make the determination.

And a final timeline change. "The joint implementation decision is
scheduled to be made no later than June 2011."

Deborah Tomaras, NACO Coordinator
Librarian II
Western European Languages Team
New York Public Library
Library Services Center
31-11 Thomson Ave.
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
(917) 229-9561
[log in to unmask]

Disclaimer: Alas, my ideas are merely my own, and not indicative of New
York Public Library policy.
----- Forwarded by Deborah Tomaras/MHT/Nypl on 12/08/2010 11:44 AM -----
                                                                                                                
  From:       Joanne Palko <[log in to unmask]>                                                                  
                                                                                                                
  To:         [log in to unmask]                                                                                 
                                                                                                                
  Date:       12/08/2010 11:28 AM                                                                               
                                                                                                                
  Subject:    [OCLC-CAT] FW: US RDA Test Coordinating Committee response to the community                       
                                                                                                                
  Sent by:    OCLC-Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>                                                               
                                                                                                                






-----Original Message-----
From: Next generation catalogs for libraries [
mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Shrader, Tina
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 2:41 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [NGC4LIB] US RDA Test Coordinating Committee response to the
community

{Posted to NGC4LIB and SERIALST on behalf of the US RDA Test Coordinating
Committee}

The US RDA Test Coordinating Committee is aware of the concerns being
raised by some in the community regarding the US RDA testing procedures.
The test is nearly three quarters finished, and is scheduled to end on Dec.
31, 2010.  It is anticipated that very few new records will be created in
the next few weeks as many libraries will stop original record creation
once they reach the required goal of 25 original records from their usual
work, and others will slow down production as the holidays approach.  To do
a valid test analysis it is imperative that consistent procedures be
followed throughout the test period.  No changes will be made to the
current testing protocols.

This US RDA testing was specifically designed to determine if the US
community should adopt RDA, and the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee and
the test design had no preconceived ideas or agenda either for or against
RDA.  The test partners consist of a variety of types and sizes of
libraries.  If we are to truly test the new rules, we must include testing
authority record creation as well as bibliographic record creation.  While
we recognized that there would be some temporary effects on name headings
in shared databases like OCLC, the test was designed to cause minimal
disruption to the cataloging community as a whole.  This meant that testers
were instructed not to change the 1XX field of any existing AACR2 headings
in authority records, but to record the RDA form of the heading in a 7XX
field.

This approach will allow the Coordinating Committee to analyze how many RDA
headings are likely to be different from AACR2 headings and what that
impact is in terms of cost and benefit to the users.  While testers were
deliberately asked to take a very literal/strict interpretation of the RDA
rules when determining a full RDA form of a heading, we recognize that most
AACR2 forms are compatible with RDA without adding all possible qualifying
information to the heading.  We also recognize that wholesale changes to
existing headings are undesirable. Analyzing the authority records with 7XX
fields will assist the Coordinating Committee in making recommendations to
the PCC and the US community as to when existing headings will need
updating if RDA were to be adopted.


After December 31, the Library of Congress, National Agricultural Library,
and National Library of Medicine will not be creating new RDA bibliographic
or authority records until a decision on implementation is made.  The joint
implementation decision is scheduled to be made no later than June 2011.

Specifically addressing the questions raised by Ms. Tomaras in her message
to the Coordinating Committee on December 3:

1.  The Coordinating Committee believes that RDA records should contain RDA
headings. As stated above, the test policies will not be altered.
Given the total number of records in a shared database like OCLC and the
proportionally small number of test records being created, the Coordinating
Committee believes the temporary negative effects of the
test on headings will be minimal and are justified.

PCC decisions about use of headings and coding of records are made by the
PCC, not by the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee.  The PCC has already
issued its statement about practices to follow after the test period ends.
The US RDA Test Coordinating Committee was not involved in these decisions.
While the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee may make recommendations to
the PCC, the PCC is an independent body that may or may not accept the US
RDA Test Coordinating Committee's recommendations.


2.  The purpose of the 7XX fields in authority records is two-fold.  It
allows the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee to identify authority records
and analyze how catalogers are interpreting the RDA rules on establishment
of access points.  It is also a potential way of flipping headings if RDA
were to be adopted (or flipping RDA headings to AACR2 if RDA were not
adopted, for those RDA headings with AACR2 7XXs in authority records).  Who
will make the final determination as to which headings do and do not get
flipped has not yet been determined.  The US RDA Test Coordinating
Committee recognizes the financial pressures that all libraries face, and
the impact on costs to all agencies is one of the considerations the
Committee will take into account in recommending whether or not to adopt
RDA.

3.  If RDA is not adopted, the presence of the 7XX field will allow OCLC or
authority vendors to search for that form of a heading in RDA bibliographic
records in databases created during the test and return those headings to
the 1XX forms. The OCLC policy preserves the AACR2 form for existing
authority records as the authorized form in authority records.  The PCC
policy for records created by PCC members after the test preserves the
AACR2 form in bibliographic and authority records.
Libraries using US RDA test records in their local catalogs are free to
change the headings locally at any time.


Reminder:
An online survey to provide information to the US RDA Test Coordinating
Committee from informal testers and others is available at:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q5968DB
RDA records created may be submitted to the Library of Congress.
Contact Dave Reser ([log in to unmask])

Questions or comments about the US RDA test may be sent to the US RDA Test
Coordinating Committee via Susan Morris at the Library of Congress
([log in to unmask])
Questions or comments about the content of RDA may be emailed to
[log in to unmask] Questions about the RDA Toolkit may be directed to ALA
Editions at http://access.rdatoolkit.org/

Additional information about the US RDA test is available at the US RDA
Test Coordinating Committee's website:
http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/rda/
A FAQ and further explanation of the test process is available here:
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/RDAtest/admindoc9.doc

Tina Shrader
Cataloging Section Head and CONSER Coordinator Bibliographic Services
Branch National Agricultural Library, Room 112
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705
Phone: 301-504-5040
Email: [log in to unmask]

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