RDA in 2012: Get Prepared
During two OCLC "Cataloging Efficiencies that Make a Difference" member meetings held on consecutive days at the Gutman Library, Harvard University and the Boston Public Library, two excellent RDA presentations were delivered. The presenters had been RDA testers in 2010 and brought a wealth of practical experience to the audience. The talks focused on where they had been but, more importantly, what all catalogers can do in 2012 to prepare for the RDA adoption in January, 2013.
Here are a few of their ideas to get started. First is to get out of the holding pattern. RDA is here to stay. Don't know where to turn? As one speaker advised, check out the list of RDA testers, select one that is comparable to your institution and contact them for questions or advice.
Second, training or overviews can be found for free on the Library of Congress website, including the training at Georgia Public Library Cataloging Summit last August. Also, OCLC's Good Practices for Great Outcomes portal has several free RDA presentations; check out Jeanne Piascik's RDA presentation from last February or Chris Cronin's presentation. And, the OCLC website has RDA-related resources in print and recordings, including a great starting point on the topic of FRBR.
Third, read up on the subject in the latest professional literature. An article on the experiences of RDA testers was recently published in a special issue of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 49(7/8).
Fourth, as one speaker suggested, you don't need to jump into RDA all at once. Create an implementation plan that emphasizes testing it out for three months as a pilot.
After hearing the speakers talk about RDA in a common sense approach, most participants felt better about making the change. So start now to prepare for RDA.