At the recent ALA Midwinter in Boston, there was an update of the RDA National Test. If you have been trying to follow any recent developments of the RDA National Test, the site to consult is the one from LC or http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/rda/. However, if you have been following, you already know that this site is not updated frequently. This why it was great to hear an update on the RDA National Test at ALA Midwinter.
Basically, the test is for a 9 month period:
- 3 months to train using the RDA Toolkit
- 3 months using RDA
- 3 months for assessment
The test will begin June 1, 2010 when the RDA Toolkit is officially released from ALA Publishing. ALA Publishing has announced that the test partners (24 libraries of various sizes and types plus the 3 national libraries) will have free access to the RDA Toolkit during the test. For the list of test partners, go to the LC website at: http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/rda/test-partners.html.
For the 3 months when the test libraries will use RDA to catalog, all the test libraries will use a the same set of 25 titles (10 textual monographs, 5 audiovisual, 5 serials, 5 integrating resources). Then, the test libraries will contribute another 25 titles. These last 25 titles are anything that the test library deals with on a daily basis. The Library of Congress will keep all of these records in a database dedicated to the RDA National Test.
Along side this national test, MARBI is hard at working adding new MARC 21 fields for both bibliographic and authority formats. Also, OCLC is working with the national libraries on several issues. First, in May, OCLC will be doing some maintenance and bringing in the latest updates from MARBI. This will allow for the validation of RDA records as well as most of new MARC fields. Second, OCLC will help ensure that the RDA records being created for the national test do not conflict with other master records for the same title. This will help avoid multiple records of the same title in WorldCat. Third, OCLC is looking into how to export these records in a format suitable to upload to the database where LC will store them. Fourth, OCLC is looking into resolving issues for those participants who use Connexion or batch uploading to catalog. Last but not least, the major ILS vendors are interesting in the results of the test. Some may be even conducting testing of their own with their clients. The only one that I am aware of is III.
During the update, it was announced that any institution can participate in the national test. More information will be posted as to how and when this will be possible.