Towards the new RDA Toolkit: RSC meeting in Madrid
The RDA Steering Committee convened last week in Madrid, at the National Library of Spain, in the context of its 3R Project (RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign Project). Along with the closed business meetings, the institution hosted two open sessions. In the first, “Towards the new RDA Toolkit”, RSC members explained the recent restructure of the tool and discussed topics of interest such as serials, aggregates, the development of attributes as relations and types of description. The new Toolkit will be a much more helpful tool for the cataloguer, as it allows each institution to display its policy statements together with the general instructions and includes many possibilities in the form of vocabularies, cross references, bookmarks, release notes, etc.
The second session, “RDA development and implementation cases in Europe” was a case study session that brought together different examples of implementation of RDA throughout Europe, including the German-speaking, Icelandic, French, Catalonian and Spanish experiences. Among them, the French case constitutes a special one, as France has not adopted RDA but developed its own rules to meet the ultimate goal of current library communities: the FRBRization of the catalogue in its way to the Semantic Web. In the Spain’s case, which has not yet adopted RDA but will start cataloguing with it in 2019, the National Library explained its chronogram of implementation and the development of its policy statements.
For the rare book and special collections community the meeting did not add new information. It was not intended for special materials, but for the common cataloguing community. Nevertheless, the entity Item was briefly discussed during the question time, what lead to some worries among the attendants who deal with rare books and special collections and don’t find the development of the entity that is needed to describe their materials properly. The fact that neither the recently published and endorsed IFLA Library Reference Model (LRM) nor RDA have developed the entity Item as thoroughly as the rest of WEMI leaves key aspects of the description of special collections unattended. Some good news to report: the fact that the DCRM policy statements for RDA might be published soon could bring some light to the communities working on their own ones and inspire them.
–Adelaida Caro Martín, Biblioteca Nacional de España