The Implementation of RDA at GPO

Resource Description and Access (RDA) is a new cataloging/metadata standard developed by the international library community to better describe and enhance access to resources in all media. RDA is based on FRBR, or Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, and was released in 2010. It has undergone testing at the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, and at RDA National Test Partner Libraries.

The staff at the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has been hard at work on the implementation of Resource Description and Access (RDA). Library Services & Content Management (LSCM) has an implementation team in place to ensure a smooth transition from AACR2 to RDA. Training of LSCM staff members on RDA standards has been underway since 2011 and will continue throughout its full implementation this spring. The following is a timeline of upcoming RDA tasks leading up to the complete adoption of RDA standards for cataloging:

  • December 2012: A test batch of approximately 30 records was created.
  • December 20, 2012: Test batch records and all records created in RDA will be available for searching in both the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) and OCLC. A quick link to the CGP records is available on its homepage.
  • January 2013: GPO received authorization from Library of Congress' Program for Cooperative Cataloging to independently create both authority and bibliographic records in RDA .
  • January-March 2013: Authority and bibliographic records are being created using both RDA and AACR2. All records created in RDA and available in the CGP and OCLC must pass newly-developed internal quality control standards. RDA record creation will focus on high priority cataloging output, i.e. Congressional publications, electronic/online documents, hot topics, etc. Older records and brief acquisitions records will continue to be available in AACR2.
  • April 2013: Full implementation of RDA is expected. All authority and bibliographic (full cataloging and brief acquisitions records) created by GPO will follow the RDA standard.
  • April 2013: A virtual information session about RDA will be held for depository libraries shortly after implementation takes place.

During this transition, full bibliographic records will be the top priority. To keep the process as simple as possible, brief bibliographic records will continue to follow AACR2 until GPO can ensure the transition has been made seamlessly. GPO will keep the community updated regarding this matter. Updates on the progress of implementation will be posted regularly on the RDA project page.