The GMD–why keep it?

Written by Joan on October 10, 2014. Posted in Blog

In the development of RDA (Resource Access and Description), the GMD (General Material Designation) 245$h was removed in lieu of using the CMC (Content, Media, and Carrier) 3XX fields to describe the medium of the item in a more representative way.  This action was due in part to the explosion of e-resources and varying technology needed to access these resources.  This change caused quite a stir here in our office, as well as in many libraries across the nation.  We often get asked what to do with the GMD, and we are hesitant to provide a definitive answer, because the value of the GMD varies from library to library.

PCC Guidelines on Hybrid Bibliographic Records recommends that the GMD not be removed until March 31, 2016.  In compliance with that statement, OCLC plans to remove the GMD from all of its records at that time.  For that inevitable change, many libraries are asking us to delete the GMD when we conduct RDA conversion.  Another reason libraries are asking us to remove the GMD is because they have already upgraded to a next-generation system that currently uses the 3XX fields to generate the icons that determine the resource’s medium.  We also have the option to move the 245$h to another field.

Some libraries are asking us to keep the GMD because they have not upgraded systems, and the GMD is vital in determining the medium.  For these libraries, it may be impossible for the patron to determine what the resource is, and acquisitions and reference staff (among others) would have to open the each record to determine the medium, causing a lag in workflow.  Many libraries have also taken great care in generating their own, not-so-standard qualifiers for the GMD’s, for example [videorecording (DVD)].  Due to staff and patrons being so accustomed to locating their content using these qualifiers, they are hesitant to relinquish all that work if they are unsure of how the new records will interact in their system.  MARCIVE’s current processing does not alter these non-standard GMD’s. For the libraries that wish to retain their GMD, MARCIVE offers the option to simply retain the 245$h, or to create the GMD from the 3XX and other fixed and variable fields for a small one-time fee.  We do not have set pricing for generating customized GMD’s, but we are always open to evaluating data and criteria in order to better ascertain programming costs.

For quote for RDA conversion or other services please contact us.
-written by Ligia Groff, MLS

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