The three U.S. national libraries — the Library of Congress (LC), the National Agricultural Library (NAL), and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) — have announced that they will adopt, with certain conditions, the Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging code.

The Library Journal brought this news to our attention in their article, “Cataloging Community Galvanized as U.S. National Libraries Move To Embrace RDA.” This was a bit of surprise considering the fiscal and technological concerns involved with training and integration.

Though complete implementation will not occur before January 1, 2013, the Library of Congress will begin partial RDA cataloging across all subject areas in November. “We believe that the long-term benefits of adopting RDA will be worth the short-term anxieties and costs,” said representatives of the three national institutions. “We must begin now. Indefinite delay in implementation simply means a delay in our effective relationships with the broader information community.”

Sharing seems to be the term of the decade as combining resources among libraries is happening fairly consistently.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.