The Library of Congress just released its initial plan for the Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative. It’s asking the library community to provide feedback on the plan.
The group’s task is primarily concerned with finding alternatives to the MARC format:
The Working Group of the Future of Bibliographic Control, as it examined technology for the future, wrote that the Library community’s data carrier, MARC, is “based on forty-year-old techniques for data management and is out of step with programming styles of today.”  The Working Group called for a format that will “accommodate and distinguish expert-, automated-, and self-generated metadata, including annotations (reviews, comments, and usage data.”  The Working Group agreed that MARC has served the library community well in the pre-Web environment, but something new is now needed to implement the recommendations made in the Working Group’s seminal report.
The good news is that the plan is relatively short (just a couple of pages) and is mostly comprehensible English.
Go to: http://www.loc.gov/marc/transition/news/framework-103111.html
Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Website: http://www.loc.gov/marc/transition/
Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Listserv: http://listserv.loc.gov/listarch/bibframe.html
Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control Website: http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/
Thanks to Matthew Beacom who posted the link to this report on the RDA listserv. In 1968, Henriette D. Avram published the document, The MARC pilot project: final report. Today as we have experienced first hand or read about the RDA test, it is interesting to go back in time to read about the test for MARC that was done in the late 1960’s. And yes, there was a test done by the Library of Congress and 16 other libraries “to determine the feasibility of putting cataloging data into machine-readable from [sic] for distribution of magnetic tapes.” Some of the institutions that took part in this pilot project, also participated in the RDA testing!
What’s interesting about this document?
- It explains this report serves to document what was successful or not so that mistakes could be avoided in the future.
- The need to share library data at a reasonable cost.
- Automation (and the computer) are tools to facilitate the needs of scholarship, science, and technology.
- MARC system should be dynamic and flexible “to keep pace with a rapidly changing, dynamic library system”.
- There were problems with schedules and delays in implementation.
- The realization that standards are a must.
- It has a whole section dedicated to cost.
I’m sure you’ll find more if you read this document. It is a bit of history that is all the more relevant as RDA makes its way to a new implementation date and now that LC has decided to look into the continuation of MARC.
Kelley recently posted on the Internet this PDF entitled “Will RDA Kill MARC” (http://pages.uoregon.edu/kelleym/KM_MWpresentation.pdf) (from ALA MidWinter 2011). This is a straightforward and easy to follow presentation on the limitations of MARC21, some of the benefits of RDA, and its shortcomings as well. Kelley gives us the added bonus of including her notes to each one of her slides. As a result, it’s easy to follow along and get a good sense of where’s she’s going. If you don’t know much about RDA or have been following along for some time, this is a good presentation to stop and read.
Recently I found these 3 YouTube videos of Tom Delsy speaking about MARC21, RDA, FRBR, and FRAD. This is a presentation that Tom did in Germany in 2009. It’s a nice introduction to the connection between these in 3 parts.
Filed under FRAD, FRBR, RDA
Ann Chapman gave a guest lecture at the London Metropolitan University entitled “Tools of our trade: AACR2/RDA and MARC”. This presentation is a good general introduction to AACR2, RDA, and MARC21. It contains some cataloging history, some brief points on where we are today, and some speculation on where we might be headed.