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From: Deborah Tomaras <dtomaras-r9CzaW4yGYo <at> public.gmane.org>
Subject: Petition to Change Rules of RDA Test
Newsgroups: gmane.education.libraries.autocat
Date: Wednesday 3rd November 2010 19:18:47 UTC (over 7 years ago)
To All Autocatters:

There has recently been a furor on some of the other library cataloging
lists (PCCLIST, BIBCO, and OCLC-CAT), regarding the RDA test, and the test
policy which allows RDA catalogers to create and use different forms of
names in their bibliographic records than exist already established in the
authority file. Many of these test records are coded PCC and/or ELvl
I/blank/4, so are putting inaccurate names into library catalogs under
false pretenses. Further, many of these changes to names are not being
because of any rule conflict between RDA and AACR2, but merely because RDA
testers appear enamored with their test, and are adding dates/fuller forms
of names to perfectly acceptable existing headings that are already RDA
compatible, thus undermining the integrity of the authority file.

I would urge all catalogers with concerns about RDA testers mishandling of
the LCNAF to click the link below, and sign the petition. (I would just
clarify that my colleague is not demanding the total suspension of the RDA
test, as is being asserted, but merely a change in procedures and coding
because of our concerns regarding the integrity of the authority file.) I
am hopeful that public outcry will encourage the RDA Coordinating
to change their policy, and mandate the use of existing authority records
without alteration, unless there are serious conflicts with rule sets. And
I don't mean "I want to add dates or fuller forms because they've been
added to 670s at some point or another"--if the headings don't conflict,
then they should be considered RDA compatible and used as is. The
file should not be compromised merely for the heady fun of testing a rule

I know that some have taken issue with the tone of my colleague's letter
below, but I believe that his points are sound. If RDA testers are being
allowed to play fast and loose with the authority file, then the records
should be coded K or lower in the ELvl so that those institutions with
cataloging units that accept records as is will not automatically process
them, but instead send them for librarian oversight and checking. (Since
the RDA test is being done in a live database, testers must understand
libraries with differing levels of staffing competency and workflow exist,
and must make allowances for this.) If there were to be a change in
policy that mandates the use of existing name authorities this coding
change could be suspended. But only if the authority file is not being

Thanks in advance, everyone who supports the petition, showing in a
tangible way their concern for RDA's mishandling of the authority file,
creating recall problems around the world.

Deborah Tomaras, NACO Coordinator
Librarian II
Western European Languages Team
New York Public Library
Library Services Center
31-11 Thomson Ave.
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
(917) 229-9561
[email protected]
----- Forwarded by Deborah Tomaras/MHT/Nypl on 11/03/2010 09:39 AM -----
  From:       "Byrd, Jacqueline Jo"                      
  To:         [email protected]                                     
  Date:       11/03/2010 09:22 AM                                          
  Subject:    [PCCLIST] Petition to support Wojciech's memorandum          
  Sent by:    Program for Cooperative Cataloging 

On Tuesday, Nov. 2nd Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz sent the e-mail below to this
calling for a suspension of the current RDA testing in OCLC.  His
memorandum received
much support on the listserv, but cataloging managers at Indiana
University, Bloomington
want to provide a way for librarians to "sign" a petition in support of
memorandum.  We have created an online petition on the "iPetitions"
for this
purpose.  If you wish to voice your support for this, please "sign" the
petition at:


In several days, after activity on the site has stopped, I'll send out
information on
the support shown for the memorandum.  In the meantime, you can track the
at the website.

Our apologies for multiple postings!.

Mechael Charbonneau, Associate Dean for Technical Services and Head of the
Cataloging Division
Spencer Anspach, Head of the Database Management Section
Janet Black, Head of the Monographic Receiving and FastCat Unit
Jaqueline Byrd, Head of the Area Studies Cataloging Section
James Castrataro, Head of the Serials Cataloging Unit and Co-Head of the
West European Member Copy Section
Sylvia Turchyn, Head of the Western European Cataloging Section
Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington
Technical Services Department
Herman B Wells Library
1320 E. 10th St.
Bloomington, IN  47405

-----Original Message-----

To all catalogers,

We have found ourselves in an unenviable position of opposing the work
supposedly has been authorized by agencies representing our interests. I
might compare it to a military coup d’état. I mean here the RDA
“test” and
its implications on the cataloging world at large. After extensive
discussions on the PCC, OCLC cataloging e-mail lists with opinions from
British Library, Australia and North America, we can safely conclude that
there is a broad consensus against principles of RDA and the way RDA
has been imposed on the cataloging world.

Therefore, I suggest the following memorandum to be implemented by
catalogers throughout the world in response to the “RDA coup

                 November 2010 Memorandum Against RDA Test

We instruct the OCLC to do the following:

   Immediately suspend coding the test RDA records as acceptable records
      and recode them as substandard records with a code “RDA” (no PCC,
      etc. coding should be allowed on these records). The encoding level
      for these records should be “K”, which usually triggers a full
      of the record by highly trained technical assistants or professional
      catalogers. The LC records should be coded as level “7”.
   The RDA test records should be treated the same way as records coded
      with Spanish, French, German, etc. codes. This would allow
      to create parallel records for 040 English records according to
      existing and widely accepted AACR2 rules.
   Under no circumstances should RDA testers be allowed to create
      conflicting NAF or SAF records in LCNAF or LCSAF. This has already
      created a great deal of confusion and has been universally rejected
      by catalogers involved in the discussion.

We instruct agencies responsible for the RDA test to instruct its testers
to follow above mentioned rules as a way to avoid workflow complications
and growing confusion in libraries around the world.

We understand that the RDA test is just a test and in no way is an
indicative to a future cataloging procedures and rules that would replace
universally accepted AACR2 rules.

Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz
New York Public Library
Library Services Center
31-11 Thompson Ave.
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
(917) 229-9603
e-mail: [email protected]


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