Library Faculty & Staff Scholarship

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RDA, Cataloging, Cataloging Codes, Librarianship, Libraries, OPAL, Library Consortia


The RDA Working Group, an informal subcommittee of the OPAL (Ohio Private Academic Libraries) Cataloging Committee was formed in 2011 to research the then under development RDA (Resource Description and Access) cataloging code and make recommendations to the entire membership of the OPAL Cataloging Committee on how to proceed with implementing RDA cataloging in the 24 small academic libraries which make up the OPAL Consortium. All of the OPAL libraries share one Innovative Interfaces, Inc. library system and share a public catalog, so it was important to develop some guidelines for RDA cataloging that all of the OPAL catalogers could follow. The OPAL Cataloging Committee recommended that the OPAL catalogers begin to use the RDA cataloging code on the date when the Library of Congress officially adopted RDA for all of its cataloging on March 31, 2013. At that time it became acceptable to add copy cataloged or original cataloged RDA records to the OPAL catalog. The OPAL Consortium purchased individual library subscriptions to the RDA Toolkit for each of the OPAL libraries, thereby providing all of the OPAL libraries with access to the premier tool for searching for RDA cataloging rules. In addition the RDA Working Group has also created some RDA training materials which include a MARC format field-by-field guide and examples of specific catalog records to show the differences in cataloging practice between AACR2 and RDA. These are accessible on the OPAL Cataloging Committee website for the OPAL catalogers to refer to as needed. Since all of the OPAL catalogers are contributing to a shared catalog, it is important for everyone “to be on the same page” in terms of RDA cataloging in OPAL, and the training materials created for OPAL catalogers have helped to facilitate a smooth transition to RDA among the catalogers of the OPAL consortium. OPAL catalogers also can contact each other with RDA questions through a listserv or through e-mail. This presentation includes a little theoretical background on the RDA cataloging code but will be largely practical in nature showing examples from some of the training materials created for the OPAL catalogers that may be helpful to other catalogers who are beginning to encounter RDA records in OCLC more and more frequently in copy cataloging and who are beginning to perform original cataloging following the rules of the RDA cataloging code.

Original Citation

Salt, Betsy and David Powell in consultation with Jack Wu. "Implementation of RDA in the OPAL Consortium." RDA 4 Everyone Conference, sponsored by OHIONET, Worthington, Ohio. 10 July 2014.



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