RDA: Open-access period begins, and more links

It’s official: those who signed up in advance for the RDA Toolkit open-access period were notified via email today that we may access the Toolkit and get started.

From the email:

“As you use the RDA Toolkit, you’ll notice ongoing improvements and additions. We look forward to your feedback. RDA Toolkit highlights to try:

* RDA instructions that are searchable and browseable
* AACR2 Rule Number Search of RDA instructions
* Workflows, mappings: tools to customize the RDA instruction set to support organizational training and processes.
* Two views of RDA content-by table of contents and by element set
* Full text of AACR2

“Bookmark the informational website http://www.rdatoolkit.org where you can access webinar archives, an RDA training calendar, presenter/trainer materials, pricing in the major currencies, and more.

“If you need to process a subscription before the electronic order form and payment gateway go live in the next few weeks, please contact us via the RDA Toolkit Support Center at http://www.rdatoolkit.org/support so we can process your order. You will not pay for any part of your subscription that falls within the open-access period; we will extend all subscriptions through at least August 31, 2011.

“And if you’re attending ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., visit us in the exhibits at booth #2605 for a demo, to chat with ALA Digital Reference Publisher Troy Linker and other staff, and to review an early sample of the print RDA Instructions.”

Prospective users have been advised to sign up for the open-access period on the same basis as the planned subscription; for most, that means an institutional rather than individual authorization. Within institutions, each individual user should create a personal user profile:

“Once logged into the RDA Toolkit , instruct your users to create a User Profile by clicking the ‘Create’ button in the upper right hand corner of the browser window.”

If you haven’t signed up yet, of course there is still plenty of time to do so. Go to www.rdatoolkit.org and you’ll find a sign-up link.

Troy Linker of ALA Digital Reference has links to several useful posts on RDA on the ALA Connect site. I also recommend viewing the two (so far) webinars archived at the RDA Toolkit site, Making the Most of RDA Toolkit’s Open-Access Period and the earlier RDA Toolkit—A Guided Tour. The publishers are also maintaining a calendar of training opportunities offered by ALA Publishing as well as other groups (this will be self-reported, so if you are part of a group organizing a training event, there is a link to add it on the Teaching and Training page).

One more link for tonight: The Library of Congress has posted test examples of records cataloged under AACR2 and RDA for comparison here. As you will see at the link, six documents have been posted to date and others are expected. You will note some inconsistencies between examples, some of which are matters of catalogers’ judgment but some of which, I believe, are errors (I plan to contact LC about these and will post any reply I get).

Update: Seven LC sample documents are now posted. I had questioned the capitalization of some of the Books examples, such as this from Example 2:

245 10 $a APRIL 1865 : $b The Month That Saved America / $c Jay Winik.
250 ## $a FIRST EDITION.

It turns out that RDA includes an option to use capitalization as found in the source. The result certainly looks ugly to a cataloger grounded in AACR2, but this option is potentially a time-saving measure, allowing data scanned from the resource or copied from an online source to be dropped into the record with minimal editing.

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Author: R.A. Stewart

Librarian, poet, sometime musician, father, grandfather, codger; as of November 9, 2016, second-class citizen of a banana republic.

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