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Implementation Update – U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee

The first of an ongoing series of quarterly updates from the U.S. RDA Test Coordination Committee was released on January 16, 2012. The Committee will monitor the progress and activities relating to the preparation and implementation of RDA as the community approaches the January 2013 implementation start date. Through this report process the three U.S. national libraries will “judge readiness for RDA implementation to mean completion of a recommendation or convincing evidence that the recommendation is sufficiently on track to implement RDA.”

This update reviews the recommendations from the Committee’s Final Report, issued in June 2011, noting the status and accomplishments made to this point in time. It is encouraging to see that most of the recommendations reviewed in this document have a status of being either ‘on track’ or ‘completed.’

I will just mention one as an example:

Rewrite the RDA instructions in clear, unambiguous, plain English

In the status comment the Committee reports that this is recommendation would be better stated as “‘reword’ rather than ‘rewrite.’ It was not the Coordinating Committee’s intention to change the meaning or intent of the RDA instructions; the intent was to have RDA instructions written in clearer, less ambiguous language.”

And, as I’m sure you’ve heard, the selection of Chris Oliver, Chair of the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing, as Copy Editor, is listed as an accomplishment. And certainly if anyone can improve the readability of RDA it will be Chris!

The update goes on to note that “This work is already underway. Ms. Oliver will first submit reworded chapter 9, followed by chapters 10, 11, 6, and 17. The work on these five chapters will be completed and put forward for approval by the Joint Steering Committee and review by the U.S. RDA Test Committee by June 2012.”

There are many other recommendations reviewed in this first quarterly report and I encourage you to look at the others covered in this report.

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