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I was asked for a further update to the Petition to Support Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz’s Memorandum on OCLC’s RDA Testing.  Below is the email that reflects the activity on the petition as of Nov. 16th.  With the PCC announcement that RDA records will continue to be created after the end of the official testing period, it seemed like a good time to send a follow-up message.

If you are interested in adding your voice to the petition, go to:  http://bit.ly/noRDAtest

Since Nov. 16th, another 24 people signed the petition, bringing the total to 300.  The people who have signed the petition since Nov. 16th are from a variety of types of institutions, including:
•       Libraries outside of the United States
•       Special libraries
•       Public libraries
•       Academic libraries
•       Federal libraries
Some of the comments added since Nov. 1th include:
•       We need open standards, and we need to make them universally accessible and useful - or do libraries not want to reach out and make their data usable and useful along with their resources? What are those resources without the data, and what are these without the means to interpret them? RDA is a monopolistic, closed-box, overpriced product. There appear to be many other reasons, but this one is enough to boycott RDA, were it not made effectively unusable anyway by that business model.
•       With extreme budget limitations looming forcing all of us to do more, we do not need this added level of complication
•       Our library, a star library, has had its complete training budget wiped out by the city council. As a cataloger, still struggling with the new names and the new definitions of common words. To me manifestation is something Casper the ghost does. The library cannot train, cannot afford to buy RDA. Something like RDA is for times of plenty, not when the major concern of librarians is will they still have a job in the next budget

We again thank all of you who took time to sign the petition in support of a moratorium on the current RDA testing in OCLC!

Mechael Charbonneau, Associate Dean for Technical Services and Head of the Cataloging Division
Spencer Anspach, Head of the Database Management Section
Janet Black, Head of the Monographic Receiving and FastCat Unit
Jaqueline Byrd, Head of the Area Studies Cataloging Section
James Castrataro, Head of the Serials Cataloging Unit and Co-Head of the West European Member Copy Section
Sylvia Turchyn, Head of the Western European Cataloging Section
Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington
Technical Services Department
Herman B Wells Library
1320 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN  47405

_____________________________________________
From: Byrd, Jacqueline Jo
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 7:54 AM
To: 'Program for Cooperative Cataloging'
Subject: Update on the Petition to Support Memorandum on OCLC's RDA Testing


As promised, we are sending some information on the results of the petition for a moratorium on RDA testing in OCLC.  A total of 276 people signed the petition, representin a total of 138 different institutions.  Among the institutions were:
•       Public libraries, large and small
•       Academic libraries, large and small
•       Research libraries
•       Cataloging services
•       Corporate libraries
•       Public and academic libraries outside of the United States
•       Museums
•       Individual contract catalogers
•       Cataloging students
It should be noted that many of people who signed the petition did not feel comfortable identifying themselves and/or their institutions.  Although this is perfectly understandable, it may something about our profession.

You can see the full range of comments about the RDA testing on OCLC at the petition website (http://bit.ly/noRDAtest), but below is a sample of some representative comments:
•       Clarity for all catalogers, including those who have to use these records for copy cataloging, should be the important issue here.
•       There are too many libraries with very small cataloging staffs; they are having a very difficult time finding ways to do training on RDA with such tight budgets and increasing workloads.
•       This petition must also be addressed to "early adopting" catalogers and cataloging departments. Their disregard for the consequences to copy cataloging and authority control (local and vended) in the vast majority of libraries is stunning and very difficult to understand.
•       We depend on authorities being consistent and correct. And we hope that RDA records will be treated as parallel records and fully functional AACR2R records available for those libraries whose OPACs cannot handle the new fields.
•       It’s causing problems in our local system to have to deal with these records, not just bib records, but with new authority records as well. We still need the testers to continue their work but having these records look like they are fully acceptable for our online systems is causing problems. The rest of us need time to become more familiar with the new RDA fields, etc. and how to use them properly.
•       For those of us who are not participating in the testing of RDA, probably the vast majority of catalogers using OCLC, adoption of the proposed changes outlined in this petition would provide: (1.) a controlled, positive RDA learning environment for AACR2 catalogers watching from the sidelines; and: (2.) not impact or interfere with our current cataloging operation.
•       If we undermine authority control, as is being done in this RDA test, we are compromising one of cataloging's great strengths, what we point to when asserting that library catalogs are "better than Google" for searching and retrieval. It would seem to me more prudent to always use existing authority headings if they are found (adding the 70014 for RDA in the authority record for future potential usage), and only use RDA headings in bibliographic records (and create them in the authority file) if there are none already existent.
•       These are practical changes which should help all non-RDA participants to continue their usual cataloging and authority workflows, which involve OCLC WorldCat records, without further disruption. The needs of the many should be upheld over the desires of the few but powerful. They are small changes which can be made at this point, as the test is only 1/3 into its full 3 month period.
•       While I had a positive experience attending a recent training session at an RDA testing institution, the intended "permanence" of these test records still concerns me. Acceptance or rejection of RDA after testing and evaluation should be as objective as possible. I believe a parallel record approach, if implementable, would remove any perception that RDA is a “done deal.”

Some of the people who signed the petition did not limit comments to the current RDA testing, but opted to comment on RDA in general, although this was not the intended focus of the petition.  These comments can also be read at the petition site.

We thank all of you who took time to sign the petition in support of a moratorium on the current RDA testing in OCLC!

Mechael Charbonneau, Associate Dean for Technical Services and Head of the Cataloging Division
Spencer Anspach, Head of the Database Management Section
Janet Black, Head of the Monographic Receiving and FastCat Unit
Jaqueline Byrd, Head of the Area Studies Cataloging Section
James Castrataro, Head of the Serials Cataloging Unit and Co-Head of the West European Member Copy Section
Sylvia Turchyn, Head of the Western European Cataloging Section
Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington
Technical Services Department
Herman B Wells Library
1320 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN  47405

_____________________________________________
From: Byrd, Jacqueline Jo
Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2010 9:11 AM
To: 'OCLC-Cataloging'
Subject: Petition to support Wojciech's memorandum


On Tuesday, Nov. 2nd Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz sent the e-mail below to this listserv
calling for a suspension of the current RDA testing in OCLC.  His memorandum received
much support on the listserv, but cataloging managers at Indiana University, Bloomington
want to provide a way for librarians to "sign" a petition in support of Wojciech's
memorandum.  We have created an online petition on the "iPetitions" website for this
purpose.  If you wish to voice your support for this, please "sign" the petition at:

        http://bit.ly/noRDAtest

In several days, after activity on the site has stopped, I'll send out information on
the support shown for the memorandum.  In the meantime, you can track the activity
at the website.

Our apologies for multiple postings!


Mechael Charbonneau, Associate Dean for Technical Services and Head of the Cataloging Division
Spencer Anspach, Head of the Database Management Section
Janet Black, Head of the Monographic Receiving and FastCat Unit
Jaqueline Byrd, Head of the Area Studies Cataloging Section
James Castrataro, Head of the Serials Cataloging Unit and Co-Head of the West European Member Copy Section
Sylvia Turchyn, Head of the Western European Cataloging Section
Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington
Technical Services Department
Herman B Wells Library
1320 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN  47405

-----Original Message-----

To all catalogers,

We have found ourselves in an unenviable position of opposing the work that
supposedly has been authorized by agencies representing our interests. I
might compare it to a military coup d’état. I mean here the RDA “test” and
its implications on the cataloging world at large. After extensive
discussions on the PCC, OCLC cataloging e-mail lists with opinions from the
British Library, Australia and North America, we can safely conclude that
there is a broad consensus against principles of RDA and the way RDA “test”
has been imposed on the cataloging world.

Therefore, I suggest the following memorandum to be implemented by
catalogers throughout the world in response to the “RDA coup d’état”:

                 November 2010 Memorandum Against RDA Test

We instruct the OCLC to do the following:

   Immediately suspend coding the test RDA records as acceptable records
      and recode them as substandard records with a code “RDA” (no PCC, LC,
      etc. coding should be allowed on these records). The encoding level
      for these records should be “K”, which usually triggers a full review
      of the record by highly trained technical assistants or professional
      catalogers. The LC records should be coded as level “7”.
   The RDA test records should be treated the same way as records coded
      with Spanish, French, German, etc. codes. This would allow catalogers
      to create parallel records for 040 English records according to
      existing and widely accepted AACR2 rules.
   Under no circumstances should RDA testers be allowed to create
      conflicting NAF or SAF records in LCNAF or LCSAF. This has already
      created a great deal of confusion and has been universally rejected
      by catalogers involved in the discussion.

We instruct agencies responsible for the RDA test to instruct its testers
to follow above mentioned rules as a way to avoid workflow complications
and growing confusion in libraries around the world.

We understand that the RDA test is just a test and in no way is an
indicative to a future cataloging procedures and rules that would replace
universally accepted AACR2 rules.

Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz
New York Public Library
Library Services Center
31-11 Thompson Ave.
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
(917) 229-9603
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