RDA or Resources Description and Access is the new international cataloging code that will replace the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, Second Edition, AACR2.
RDA goes beyond the previous cataloging code because it gives rules to the cataloging of a wide range of resources. It provides more emphasis to user in order to find, identify, select and obtain information, and at the same time, allows the group of bibliographic records to show the inherent relationships between works and their creators.
In this context, this new cataloging standard and its application are in trial period in United States of America, however, this change involves the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon and its library system.
In order to know the current outlook of the rule and the vision about its use in Mexico, professor Ageo Garcia was interviewed; he is an expert in this topic and he has also given different training courses about the change of a rule for another one.
Which are the changes showed with the adoption of the new rules of RDA cataloging regarding the use of AACR2?
A new international cataloging code has been published, and it represents an important change compared to the old code, which needed to be updated, because it was focused on functions and characteristics of catalogs before automation.
This new code takes into account automation that allows a broad diffusion, so the globalization of resource use comes up. Previously, there was not an international code that could tend to the needs of the different regions and linguistic varieties, and this is what the new code gives to us, one international unified code in order to all catalogers work for only one objective by allowing the control of publications, first of all in every country, then in the whole world.
Which are the advantages of this new cataloging code for cataloger and final user?
The objective of my visit is to train librarians in order to they can switch the old code for the new one.
The advantages of the new code is that it is a universal language, but it is also a language where the rules have been simplified, so cataloger will be preciser and more efficient by constructing catalogs, and users will be directly benefited.
Catalogs are going to be easier to use and they will have a much preciser, wider and useful potential of use for users.
In general terms, what does the cataloging process involve?
I think there are different aspects of change; the first one is that we attend all type of resources’ description necessities, in other words, we can catalog a book, a satellite map, a museum object, video recordings, all type of audiovisual materials and electronic resources with this new code. The last code had serious limitations which attended each format, but with this code –when catalogers get trained– they will describe any type of information support.
Which would be the keys to the functional implementation of RDA? And in your own experience, how viable is their application in Mexico?
I started to give these courses around ten years ago, and the problem we had in that time, is that we had the education of not following international rules, we used to adapt the few international rules to our own idiosyncrasy.
Nowadays, we are developing the education of using the international rule, and at the moment of using it, we have a common language which we are going to exchange the bibliographical resources with, it does not matter the country neither the language they were created with.
RDA has been developed in last six years, so it has given time to us to raise catalogers in Mexico awareness, and we found there is awareness and comprehension of the necessity of following the rule, so we have a really good area to implement the rule. Furthermore, we have the advantage of advance, in other words, we are starting to prepare ourselves to apply the rule, even before it is published.
So, with these courses we are giving, people are processing that conceptual and procedures transformation, and at the same time, they are developing activities in courses to start to implement the rule in diary job of cataloging in libraries.
How do you foresee the panorama for the application of the new rule related to CODICE case?
The UANL has the advantage of being a visionary institution that realizes the importance of going hand in hand with technological advance; and that is what offers all kind of advantages. The fact that a software for libraries is being developed in the University talks, on one side, about the capacity for doing it, because there are not many private nor public institutions that develop systems currently, and, on the other side, it is visionary University can create a system that solves its problems and not wait for commercial systems to be created, which in most of the time, attend general necessities and not specific necessities. I congratulate UANL.
Nowadays, these RDA regulations are being managed in United States of America, in your experience, when will it be released?
The process of RDA creation lasted from 2005 to middle of 2010, and on June, 2010 RDA was officially published, it was also released as electronic resource, it was not paper published.
But when the definitive text of rules is finished, obviously the next step is a trial period because it is a code with a proposal to improve, but we have not had enough space or time to decide to apply and approve those theoretical criteria.
The only tests carried out, –up to now– are in libraries of United States of America; the results of those tests are finished and what they told us is it is possible the application of rules to solve problems of biographical description.
The next stage is to prepare all policies and procedures manuals, and then to train catalogers for this period. National libraries in United States of America, France, Germany and other countries, have decided to prepare themselves from December 2010 to January 2013.
There is a lot of work to do; for this reason, the first official date to start the implementation of the code in the whole world is on January, 2013.
So we consider –in the world perspective– Mexico is at the top of efforts to adopt the new international code of cataloging together with Colombia, Argentina and Spain. All this creates awareness about change is necessary.
He studied Bachelor of Library Science at the UNAM, and in 1989 he obtained Master Degree in Library Science and Information Technology at the University of Texas at Austin as Fulbright-LASPAU grant holder. He is Regional Certified Trainer of international programs of PCC/NACO cooperative cataloging for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region. As International Consultant in Organization and Bibliographical Control, he has given many specialized courses and consultancy in different professional forums and prestigious institutions of Mexico, United States of America, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Panama, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. He has participated in translation and Spanish publication of different rules and bibliographic systems (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, PCC/NACO/SACO Training Manuals, Dewey Decimal System, MARC 21 Format –bibliographic and authorities– and Library of Congress Subject Headings –LCSH). Nowadays, he is President of Latin American Consultative Council for Cooperation in Cataloging.