May 28, 2022

Standards: National Library of Spain (BNE) Decides Not to Adopt RDA For the Time Being

From a Statement from the Biblioteca Nacional De España (National Library of Spain):

The National Library of Spain (BNE) is actively seeking an alignment with RDA that doesn’t involve a sudden break in our current cataloging practices. We believe that RDA focuses on two main goals which the BNE currently considers of prime importance, such as FRBRization and linked data development. However, we find some obstacles that discourage RDA implementation at this moment:

  • The standard is still undergoing major changes in its drafting through periodical revisions. Furthermore, some RDA chapters are still to be written.
  • Current format environment, based on MARC 21, doesn’t provide enough flexibility to take advantage of RDA FRBR‐based structure. The role of BIBFRAME, supposedly the natural replacement for MARC 21, is not clear in the short term and its development is being even questioned in North America. We think ILMS development will be decisive in this new context.
  • A move from Spanish Cataloguing Rules to RDA would involve a number of major changes in legacy data ‐especially regarding access points‐ where potential benefits currently do not appear to worth the great effort required.
  • Last but not least, the current economic situation would not allow many Spanish institutions to assume the costs (licenses of RDA Toolkit, training, etc.) of RDA implementation.

These are the reasons why the BNE has decided not to adopt the new standard for the time being. This does not mean, however, that the BNE is rejecting any further decision in the future.

The complete statement is available here and also embedded below.

1218 Comunicado RDA Ingles

Hat Tip: Library Technology Guides/Marshall Breeding

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.