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[Please excuse cross-postings.]


The Committee of Principals for RDA has issued the following statement dated 29 May 2015 (also being posted on the JSC website):


RDA is a package of data elements, guidelines, and instructions for creating library and cultural heritage resource metadata that are well-formed according to international models for user-focused linked data applications.


RDA has always been a continually evolving standard that aims to reflect the requirements of the cataloguing, metadata and description community.


As we continue to develop the standard it is essential that we broaden the range of perspectives applied to the development of the standard to ensure that it reflects a wide range of different cultural perspectives. The benefit of doing this was envisioned as RDA was developed. As more organisations develop rich and compatible data sets about their holdings, these can be actively shared across the globe to open up and increase the discoverability of collections for the benefit of the users we serve.


RDA has now reached a critical point in this development and the key to its continued success is a firm commitment to further internationalisation and exploration of wider cultural heritage description communities. The Committee of Principals have agreed on a new governance model to which it will begin to move over the next 3-4 years that emphasises this need for wider representation.


In the first instance, stakeholders will see a rebranding of the infrastructure and changes to wording used to describe supporting structures. The Committee of Principals will become the RDA Board, the JSC will become the RDA Steering Committee and rather than constituencies, we will talk about communities.


The Committee of Principals assures current representatives that the new model continues to offer them multiple ways to remain influential in the development of RDA at Board, Steering Committee and working group levels. It is absolutely critical that current representatives continue to remain involved; their expertise in the development of RDA is essential for its continued success. Whilst there will be elements of structural and supporting infrastructure change ahead, current representatives will be a part of this development. Their active involvement will be vital in working with the new Board and Steering Committee to identify how they will be represented in the future.


The Committee of Principals will share a detailed transition plan with stakeholders prior to IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress in 2015. The plan will identify how the Committee and Joint Steering Committee will engage communities and the key steps which will be taken to incrementally evolve towards the new structure.