Thank you Joe for your recent post to the PCClist.   We are very 
interested in making more use of PCClist to address community concerns 
and questions about BIBFRAME and the Strategic Directions and are happy 
for this opportunity to respond.

The PCC Steering Committee discussed the issues you raised and agree 
that there is tension that needs to be considered but believe it is 
still too early in the process for any resolution to occur.  Not enough 
work has been done for us to imagine all the ways in which cataloging 
will change. The PCC and LC  both are actively engaged in monitoring the 
LC BIBFRAME pilot.  Data from the pilot was produced using RDA and it 
will be carefully reviewed and analyzed for sufficiency by LC, PoCo and 
other stakeholders.  Several PoCo members are also part of the 
anticipated LD4P/L projects and it is expected that much will be learned 
once work begins.  The combination of production work and research 
should answer many questions. PCC is also about to announce several new 
committees and task groups which will help increase community 
understanding and perhaps more importantly bring more catalogers into 
the conversation.  The May OpCo meeting will have agenda topics devoted 
to the issues around RDA and the transition to LOD and has even added an 
extra half day for a "Moving Away from MARC-athon" to raise awareness.  
We know that many catalogers are eager to get started and the amount of 
time it takes to lay the groundwork and develop consensus is 
frustrating. PCC's role at this point is to learn, engage in discussion 
and experiment so that in the future we will be able to exercise our 
traditional role in standards development and training in best practices.

Please continue to raise questions as this will help move the process 


On 3/15/2016 10:42 AM, Joseph Kiegel wrote:
> The relationship between RDA and BIBFRAME needs a closer look by the PCC.
> PCC adopted RDA for authorities in 2013 and for bibliographic data in 
> 2015.  PCC has also promulgated many RDA guidelines, as well as the 
> BIBCO RDA and CONSER RDA standard records.
> BIBFRAME is a new way of representing and exchanging bibliographic 
> data.  One of its principles is that it "generally aims to be 
> independent of any particular set of cataloging rules" 
> ( In other words, BIBFRAME 
> includes many but not all RDA elements, and by design will not include 
> them all.  As an example, consider support for relationship 
> designators in RDA and BIBFRAME:  a mapping of Work designators from 
> ( shows that 
> a great deal of specificity is lost in BIBFRAME.
> PCC support for both RDA and BIBFRAME creates a tension that must be 
> resolved.  If, on one hand, RDA is the PCC content standard, why 
> should RDA data be encoded in a scheme that irretrievably loses many 
> intellectual distinctions made by the cataloging code?  If, on the 
> other hand, BIBFRAME is the PCC encoding standard, why should members 
> pay catalogers to make distinctions that are immediately discarded?
> To my mind, our content standard is of primary importance.  Its rules 
> embody the intellectual added value that catalogers bring as they make 
> sense of a complex bibliographic world.  Once a content standard is 
> chosen, then a linked-data encoding scheme should be selected that is 
> capable of handling the full range of elements in the content model.  
> It is the content model that is chosen first, not the encoding scheme.
> In my view, PCC needs to make a commitment to a content standard and 
> to a linked-data encoding scheme that support completely loss-less 
> data transfer.  Note that the new environment does not require the use 
> of a single encoding scheme.  Different schemes support different use 
> cases and BIBFRAME has its place.  But for the use case of 
> library-to-library exchange of RDA cataloging, PCC needs a loss-less 
> encoding scheme.

Kate Harcourt
Director, Original and Special Materials Cataloging
102 Butler Library
Columbia University
New York, NY  10027
email: [log in to unmask]
phone: 212.854.2714