Among the multitude of changes in the evolving world of library science is the transition from the 45 year-old national cataloging standard, AACR-2 (Anglo-American Cataloging Rules), to a new standard designed to better integrate with the digital library of the future, RDA (Resource Description and Access).
Over the last several months, in addition to learning RDA for cataloging bibliographic records, staff learned to apply these new standards to the creation of authority records as required through our participation in NACO, the Name Authority Cooperative Program of the Library of Congress. Name authority records are crucial to facilitating patron discovery of desired materials. Cross-references to variant forms of personal, corporate, and geographic names serve to create a positive search experience.
Through participation in numerous intensive training sessions, PSU catalogers mastered the intricacies of RDA as it applies to authority records and submitted records for criticism and review. Based on the recommendation of Paul Frank of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, our Library is now certified to contribute authority records to the Library of Congress authority files in accordance with RDA guidelines and policies. Few outside a cataloging department can appreciate the magnitude of this change in long-standing policy and procedure. It is a tribute to our cataloging staff that this transition was handled with both efficiency and professionalism. Congratulations to Tom Larsen, Head of Monographic Cataloging, and to the Monographic Cataloging team of Donnie Carpenter, David Coate, Teresa Minato, and Suzanne Sager.