Developing Standards

If you create or edit authority records, you should be aware that RDA no longer incorporates the terms “male,” “female,” and “not known” for gender, and that PCC policy is now to use terms from LCDGT (Library of Congress Demographic Group Categories Term and Code List) in field 375 ($2 lcdgt).

You can access LCDGT from ClassWeb.  If you do not have ClassWeb access, you can retrieve a PDF document from the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate home page, though it will be slightly less current.  Netanel Ganin of Brandeis University has also posted the terms in a more navigable page in the style of ClassWeb, and he plans to keep his list up to date with each update.

The terms in LCDGT can potentially be used in any setting where you need controlled, single-facet vocabulary for age, educational level, ethnic or cultural identification, gender, language, medical or psychological condition or disability, national or regional affiliation, occupation or field of activity, religion, sexual orientation, or other social group identification; so we may have occasion to refer to it in the future even if we are not assigning gender designations in authority records.

(Gender in authority records and in RDA will be discussed in a little more depth in a forthcoming post on Flaming Catheads.)

Announced on the RSC website:

The RDA full record examples on the Toolkit website have been revised. The examples show authority and bibliographic records in both an RDA element view and a MARC encoding view of the record.

There are also two examples showing diagrams of specific RDA entities, elements, and relationships. More will be added later.

That examples page also includes a link to rball versions of some of the bibliographic examples; they are available in both RIMMF native RDA format and RDF linked data format.

These examples may be accessed from the RDA Toolkit website ( or from the link on the Tools tab in RDA Toolkit (

The examples are freely available to all. No subscription to RDA Toolkit is required to access and download the examples.

Posted:23 May 2016

On March 16 I gave a presentation at COSUGI’s annual conference in Salt Lake City on “Getting Ready for RDA.”  It is an update, with less Illinois emphasis and some more specific SirsiDynix references, of last October’s “Wait a Minute, How Many Months”?; I’m attaching PDFs in case anyone might be interested in the newer information.  After editing my speaker’s notes a little I will post them as well.

One thing I emphasized in the presentation more than in the posted material is that preparation for RDA involves a lot of policy planning, much of which will probably be done while you’re learning about the code. Among other things this is an occasion for examining and rethinking your library’s or consortium’s existing policies.

And corollary to that: As you make these decisions, it is very important to document, not only the decisions themselves, but the reasons for them. Eventually someone after you will be revisiting the issues you’re dealing with now, quite possibly someone who will not have been around for these initial discussions. They will appreciate knowing the context in which you established your policies and practices, which they can use in evaluating what they should do at that undetermined point in the future. And in fact you and your colleagues may well be returning to these questions yourselves; and it can be helpful, when re-evaluating what you’ve done, to have an answer to the question–literally–”What were we thinking?”


Some RDA Training Resources 2013-02-14

UPDATE: Speaker’s notes:

Getting Ready for RDA notes for posting 2013-03-25

With the start date of LC “converting” to RDA they have shared some (in my opinion) real world examples of RDA records. They can be found here.

From the Illinois Library Assocation’s 2012 Annual Conference, Peoria, October 9:

Fantastic (and Free!) Cataloging Tools, presented by Erica Laughlin, RSA Cataloging and Database Administrator, Resource Sharing Alliance NFP:


A wealth of useful resources here, including DDC tools, converters and calculators, RDA resources, many more.

Wait a Minute, How Many Months?: Getting Ready Now that RDA Is Almost Here:

Wait a Minute, How Many Months 2012-10-17 (PPT)

Wait a Minute, How Many Months 2012-10-17 (PDF)

Some RDA Training Resources 2012-10-11

I have saved my presentation as both PPT so you can see the notes, and PDF in case you have trouble viewing the PPT.

Both Erica and I added a little extra information based on the discussion at our presentations.

Some time ago we posted a link to LC’s training examples for RDA, first established around the time of the test period. There is a more updated list here, under the title “RDA Record Examples”, with documents focused on different types of materials. (You may notice, among other things, that the tagging reflects the use of repeatable field 264, rather than 260, for publication and copyright data.)

With apologies for the long delay (for those who attended), here is the text of my presentation on RDA at the On the Front Lines conference in April in Springfield, Illinois.

RDA on the Front Lines

(Cross-posted at Flaming Catheads.)

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