Four national libraries have joined forces to implement a new standard for resource description and access (RDA) designed for the digital environment in which libraries now operate. The Library of Congress, the British Library, Library and Archives Canada and the National Library of Australia have agreed on a coordinated implementation of “RDA: Resource Description and Access,” the successor to the “Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules.”
These national libraries, together with representatives from professional library associations in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, are members of the Committee of Principals, which oversees the work of the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA, which is responsible for developing RDA.
“We welcome the move to RDA and the functionality that RDA, as a Web product, will provide,” said Beacher J.E. Wiggins, director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access at the Library of Congress.
RDA addresses the needs of the future by providing a flexible framework for describing all types of resources of interest to libraries. RDA guidelines will be easy and efficient to use, as well as compatible with internationally established principles, models and standards. In addition, RDA will maintain continuity with the past, as data created using RDA will be compatible with existing records in online library catalogs.
The libraries plan to implement RDA by the end of 2009. To ensure a smooth transition to RDA, the four national libraries will work together where possible on implementation matters such as training, documentation and any national application decisions. The group will issue regular updates to keep the library communities in their countries informed on RDA implementation progress and policy decisions.