Cataloguing

RDA and OLIS

The Oxford Libraries Information System (OLIS) implemented RDA in March 2013.  Before implementation we benefited immensely from the willingness of other agencies (especially the Library of Congress, the British Library and Cambridge University Library) to share and discuss their materials.  We are very happy to be able to make our own materials publicly available now, in case agencies who have not yet implemented RDA might find them interesting.  They are covered by a Creative Commons license, which allows them to be used or adapted freely for any fair and non-commercial purpose, as long as this use is attributed.  Most of the documents are PDFs, but Bodleian Catalogue Support Services will supply them in Word format on request.  We also welcome corrections and comments.

OLIS is a community of libraries associated with Oxford University, including the Bodleian Libraries.  Altogether there are about 200 cataloguers in about 100 libraries scattered over a wide area.  Some are full-time cataloguers working in teams, but others are part-time or isolated or have many other responsibilities and catalogue only occasionally.  It can be hard to get away for training, and our training facilities are in heavy demand. This means that our training has to be flexible and encourage self-reliance, and we cannot expect occasional cataloguers to spend a great deal of time getting to know the Toolkit and its background.  Accordingly:

  • We rely heavily on documentation for self-tuition and reference, with just a few contact sessions to cover system-related practicalities, introduce the documentation, do some practice together and provide feedback. 
  • Our documentation is task-oriented.  Because we expect to be using MARC for some years to come, it reflects MARC structure rather than FRBR entities.
  • It includes only enough about FRBR and RDA structure to enable cataloguers to understand RDA terminology, navigate the Toolkit and have some appreciation of what future FRBR systems might achieve.
  • It is fairly free-standing.  Our cataloguers are welcome to study the Toolkit, but they should seldom really need to use it except for controlled vocabularies (e.g. relator lists) or points of detail (e.g capitalisation of soil types).

There is a fuller account of our implementation in RDA at Oxford University, which was published in CILIP's Catalogue & Index in December 2013. We thank the C&I editors for permission to reproduce it.

 Creative Commons Licence
The documents listed below are all licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Transfer training

Please be aware that some of our transfer training materials may be a little out of date.  The main materials were updated and revised to be less OLIS-specific in June 2014, but anything which is not dated as June 2014 goes back to April 2013.

Unfortunately we cannot make the internal links between the documents work for this page, because the links reference the versions within our staff intranet.  However, you should be able to find all the relevant documents somewhere on this page.

Our RDA training for experienced cataloguers took the form of one training day supported by documentation and a practice pack.  The training day served primarily to introduce key points from the documentation but also included a 'workshop' session where cataloguers in small groups were prompted by worksheet questions to create parts of RDA records.  After the training day they were asked to read the documentation thoroughly, work through the practice pack and then get on with their normal work, in RDA.

A couple of months after transfer training we issued an extra document to cover the vexed question of how generous to be with statements of responsibility and authorised access points.  It was also added as an appendix to Module 3 of our ordinary RDA/MARC21 documentation (see below).

RDA/MARC21 modules for training new cataloguers and for reference

Unfortunately we cannot make the internal links between the documents work for this page, because the links reference the versions within our staff intranet.  However, you should be able to find all the relevant documents somewhere on this page.

Special materials

We initially implemented RDA only for mainstream print books and serials, but we are gradually developing policies and documentation for other types of materials.  General principles are covered in Module 5 (above), but some materials need more detail.

Forthcoming

  • Electronic documents

 

Page last revised: June 2014.

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