The National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, the National Agricultural Library (NAL) and the Library of Congress (LC) announce an agreement regarding the implementation of RDA (Resource Description and Access), new cataloging rules published in June 2010 to replace AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition).
Concerns were raised in 2008 about how well RDA met its own self-stated goals, the costs of adopting new rules, and the lack of clear explanations of the new rules’ benefits. Therefore, the US community, led by the senior management at the NLM, the NAL, and the LC had agreed to coordinate a US test of the rules and make a joint decision about whether or not the rules should be adopted. The US RDA Test Coordinating Committee was appointed in June 2008, with three members each from NLM and NAL and four members from LC. The test involved 23 partner institutions (libraries of various sizes and types, museums, archives, vendors, educators and students), in addition to the three national libraries. The test was conducted from July-December 2010, the results of the test were analyzed from January-May 2011, and the Coordinating Committee submitted its report and recommendations to their senior management on June 6, 2011.
Executives of the three national libraries, Dr. Simon Liu (NAL), Sheldon Kotzin (NLM) and Dr. Deanna Marcum (LC), issued a statement June 14, 2011, endorsing the recommendations made by the US RDA Test Coordinating Committee regarding the implementation of RDA – namely that RDA should be implemented no earlier than January 2013 and is contingent upon the satisfactory progress/completion of nine specified tasks and action items outlined in the report. The full text statement/summary is available here (PDF).
The complete report will be available prior to the opening of ALA 2011.