CC:DA Core Midwinter Report 2021

Virtual meetings held February 5, 9, and 12, 2021.
Reported by Keith Knop 

February 5

The first meeting was largely concerned with procedural matters but also featured reports from two task forces and a presentation and Q&A session with James Hennelly from ALA Publishing.

An open question is the nature of virtual meetings in the future; once the Core transition is complete it is not clear if ALA will want all committee meetings to be conducted via an ALA account or if it will be fine to continue using, e.g., the committee chair’s institution’s Zoom account, as CC:DA has been.

A proposed task force to review the final draft of the ALA Cataloging Code of Ethics (final version) did not form due to a series of scheduling misunderstandings. 

The charge of the Virtual Participation Task Force was amended to include investigation of ALA Connect as a tool for committee work, as the current CC:DA website is on an ALCTS server and will probably go away at some stage as the merger with Core continues.

The Best Practices for Recording Faceted Chronological Data in Bibliographic Records Task Force submitted a response to SAC’s draft best practices document. The response was supportive but suggested one substantial change, using 046 $k instead of $o to record creation dates for individual works within an aggregate, which the task force felt was more in alignment with the definitions of those fields and also matched the interpretation used by OLAC in their best practices documents.

The report from ALA Publishing noted the conclusion of the 3R project and highlighted accomplished goals, next steps, and points for future development.

  • Accomplishments
    • The new site makes use of responsive design to adapt to phone and tablet screens.
    • Testing reports found the site meets AA accessibility standards, with the exception of one issue: for screen readers there is a need for tags to indicate switches between languages, such as in examples.
    • The new site implements the ILFA LRM model.
  • Next steps
    • Norwegian translations are complete and Finnish translations are nearing completion.
    • Arabic and Hungarian translations are on the way.
    • ALA is in negotiations for Portuguese and possibly Chinese translations. The Spanish translation partner for the previous version of RDA is somewhat daunted by the scope of the project so another alternative may be necessary.
    • Some groups are considering doing only partial translations.
    • The Library of Congress and British Library have extensive draft policy statements in the toolkit and continue to work on them.
    • MLA and the National Library of Finland will begin work in the toolkit CMS soon. 
  • Further development
    • ALA still hopes to include a visual browser function. This was originally planned as part of the 3R project but was too expensive to fit into the project scope.
    • They also hope to implement a one-size-fits-all mapping tool for mapping MARC, BIBFRAME, etc. to RDA. Many people have asked about bringing back the mappings from the original Toolkit, but they were huge, unwieldy flat file tables that were extremely difficult to maintain.
  • Orientation efforts
    • The RDA Lab Series with Kate James is running again (twice for each session to accommodate international time zones). Response has been good and it will run again in the future.
    • The RDA Toolkit YouTube channel features a number of short- and long-form training videos.
    • Print products include the RDA Glossary and Introducing RDA: A Guide to Basics after 3R. Forthcoming titles include the RDA Workbook and RDA Essentials.
    • In response to COVID-19 ALA Publishing is extending free trials and offering discounts for new and returning subscribers.

In response to a question from Gina Solares, Hennelly noted that the RDA Lab Series runs for six months, so there are practical limits on how frequently it can be re-run. It is technically not an official RDA product as it is run through ALA’s Learning Solutions Group, not ALA Publishing.

Stephen Hearn asked if community resources were under the same umbrella for accessibility testing. Hennelly noted the community resources sections are still very much under development but use the same software and structure as the rest of the toolkit and should be conformant on that front; that can be reevaluated if needed.

February 9

The ALA representatives to the North American RDA Committee reported on NARDAC activities (report). Highlights include continued work on user-friendly elements for display and continued work on guidance for “well-formed” RDA; this is a continuing area of study as people adopt RDA in various encoding formats. The January meeting of the RDA Steering Committee included discussion of the proposed migration of RDA pseudo-elements to the Community Resources section; it was noted that community responses largely expressed similar concerns, especially about ongoing maintenance and responsibility for that content.

There was continued discussion of a revised version of LC’s process for proposing new or revised Romanization tables. The process will be overseen by a 7-member review board: three from LC, and two each from the Committee on Cataloging: Asian and African Materials (CC:AAM) and CC:DA. The review board will appoint a review subcommittee with appropriate language expertise to review proposals.

The MARC Advisory Council liaison reported on MAC activity, including 10 proposals of which nine passed with one withdrawn for revision (report). Six discussion papers are expected to return as proposals. Robert Maxwell expressed concern that we may not be moving fast enough to implement new RDA changes. MAC liaison John Myers noted that MAC does not originate proposals, it only responds to them; it’s up to the community to make proposals. Kathy Glennan and Thurstan Young noted the MARC/RDA Working Group has been active and has plans to address other significant areas of RDA Development such as representative expressions.

Highlights from the PCC liaison (report) included updates on the PCC Wikidata pilot and the new Best Practices for use of field 024 in authority records. The PCC Policy Committee announced that usage of the new RDA Toolkit will not begin before July 2022 and that the committee is planning for a rolling implementation date. No one was entirely certain what that meant; liaison Everett Allgood sought clarification after the meeting and subsequently reported that, much like the original switch to RDA, there would be a period during which PCC institutions would be cleared to begin using the new rules but not required to do so for PCC work. 

February 12

Melanie Polutta reported on activities at the Library of Congress (report). Highlights of broad general interest:

  • Testing for new guidelines on conventional collective titles beyond poetry has technically concluded, but LC catalogers are continuing to use the test guidelines while survey results are being analyzed.
  • Review and revision of policy statements for the new Toolkit continues; work on external documentation is tentatively scheduled to begin after the April Toolkit update.
  • The BIBFRAME project has expanded in collaboration with the Stanford-led Linked Data for All project.
  • The multiple subdivision project for LCSH has finished with “religious aspects” headings and is now moving on to other categories.
  • The final optional modules for LCSH online training have been uploaded to the Cataloger’s Learning Workshop on LC’s website.

In response to a question Polutta noted that while there is not yet an official timeline the hope is that all catalogers working in the ABA division will be trained in BIBFRAME by the end of the year and that the BIBFRAME transition at LC will be completed before transitioning to the new RDA.