Why Convert Legacy Data to RDA: Public Libraries Weigh In

Written by Joan on November 3, 2014. Posted in Blog

Converting legacy data to RDA is a challenging idea to take hold in public libraries because of a school of thought regarding the short-lived nature of the collection. If your collection flips over every 15 years, why do anything with the legacy data?

Converting to RDA preps your data for the next generation systems and organizes your records in a layout that is easier for patrons to understand. Public libraries, in particular, have more formats than many other types of libraries, so the blanket term “electronic resource” is no longer relevant in today’s information environment. But don’t take our word for it, here is why some of our happy customers converted to RDA:

Cuyahoga County Public Library
Lori Ann Thorrat, Catalog Department Manager

“Cuyahoga County Public Library chose to convert our data to RDA for simplicity. Having our data in RDA format created a level of consistency that simplifies the configuration of the public catalog, improving our customer’s ability to find and retrieve materials. Dates are very important both for searching and sorting data.  Just having all of our publication dates in a single MARC field allows us to streamline how records display and sort in the public catalog. Because RDA is an internationally recognized standard, having our data already in RDA format will facilitate the conversion of our legacy data to Bibframe, the next generation schema for bibliographic data.”

Somerset County Library System
Adele Thoma Barree
, Head of Technical Services

“We know that we will not have our current ILS forever, and that RDA is designed to handle links and connections among all types of data.  Getting our database in the best possible shape for the future is something MARCIVE can help us with by modifying our bibs to reflect basic RDA format.  We are very glad you offer this service!”

Thousand Oaks Public Library
Stacy Gordon, Cataloging Librarian

“Legacy data is worth converting so that older materials become as discoverable as new materials, especially as library management systems and other discovery layers begin to take more advantage of the new fields for content, media, and carrier type.  Since these fields (336, 337, and 338) have controlled vocabularies, greater consistency will be achieved between older and newer records.  As well, when BibFrame is ready to replace MARC, more of your records will be ready to be crosswalked to the new metadata standard that will be more compatible with other information systems in the greater linked data world.

Library catalogs have gone through many changes, and a recent change is to the new cataloging standard,  RDA.  Among the benefits of RDA are fewer abbreviations (no more “ill.” for illustrations or  the Latin “s.l.” for “Place of publication not identified,” and many others), more relationships identified between works, entities, manifestations, and items, as well as between persons, families, and corporate bodies and these FRBR requirements, and a catalog that’s data conform better to what’s being seen in the wider world outside of libraries.  Conversion would provide for greater consistency within your catalog, and will allow users to find information more easily, with RDA’s allowance for a greater number of access points, increasing discoverability.

We had no trouble deciding to go with MARCIVE for performing the retrospective conversion of our database to RDA.  We have had MARCIVE do our authority control for 12 years, and they have been extremely fast, reliable, and with gracious customer service.”

 –written by Ligia Groff, MLS

ERIC Documents about more than education

Written by Joan on November 3, 2014. Posted in Blog

ERIC documents have been traditionally thought of as education materials, but that is too limiting! ERIC documents contain a wealth of information with topics ranging from nutrition to folk culture to architecture. But an architecture student might not think to look for information on facilities design and accessibility for the disabled in the “Education Database”.

Having ERIC documents accessible through an alternative means is available in the form of MARC records. These MARC records can be downloaded into the library’s online catalog, making them searchable by anyone. Conducting a search in an online catalog that includes ERIC MARC records using the keywords “facilities design” and “accessibility” yields 49 results, of which 43 were ERIC documents!

If you would be interested in making your library’s ERIC documents more readily accessible to all of your students, ask us how!

-written by Vicky Hart, MSLIS

Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP)

Written by Joan on October 16, 2014. Posted in Blog

No Cost GPO Catalog Records for Depository Libraries: Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP)

The Cataloging Records Distribution Program (CRDP) provides for GPO-produced catalog records to participating Federal depository libraries. Cataloging records are made available to libraries based on a customized profile, according to each library’s unique needs. MARCIVE works with each participating library to develop a CRDP profile that determines the types of records provided monthly. Libraries in turn add the records to their own library catalogs, which enhances public access and awareness of U.S. Government publications. As noted on the CRDP website, the advantages to participation are many, including:

  • The service is available at no cost to participating libraries.
  • Bibliographic records are provided monthly based on the current library FDLP item selection profile.
  • Participants may configure the bibliographic record files they receive.
  • The monthly process for acquiring the records sets is easy.
  • Receiving bibliographic records reduces library staff cataloging time.
  • Participants have consistently praised CRDP customer service.

Vacancies currently exist for fiscal year 2015. Contact askGPO immediately if you are interested in joining the CRDP. Positions are first come, first served.

-written by Vicky Hart, MLIS

 

Outsourced Authority Control: Why isn’t this working?

Written by Ligia Groff on October 16, 2014. Posted in Blog

These are some common misconceptions as to why outsourced authority control may not be working:

1) Not sending all your records. Of course it is better to apply authority control to all records, so patrons can access the content they seek. This one is usually unavoidable due to budget constraints. For example, some libraries do not have permanent rights to some e-book resources. They can potentially drop out of their catalog at any time, so they don’t see the benefit of processing these records. Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword. Many of those records are patron driven, and if the patron can’t find it, it will remain unused and drop from the catalog.

2) Not sending your new bibliographic records for processing on a consistent basis. MARCIVE does not set up a pre-defined schedule for a customer to send new bibliographic records for upgrade. Each library has the option of sending whatever number of records (no minimum order) on whatever workflow is best for them. If we receive them by 3pm CST, you will receive the updated bibs and matching authority records to load into the system the very next business day. Over time, it causes a back-log of outdated headings if they are not sent on a consistent basis. Some libraries have created programs to automatically send the records to us, so the only staff time involved in workflow is the picking up and loading of the records.

3) Not signing up for our Notification service. This is a “biggie.” Library of Congress makes constant changes to authority records. MARCIVE receives about 100,000+ new or changed authority records per month. All of these records may not pertain to your library, but we keep track of that for you and bundle it in a monthly file for you to load via ftp. Keeping the authority file current also keeps your bibliographic access points current. Not naming names, but some libraries who have signed up for this service never retrieve their files. Sometimes this is due to changes in staffing and poor documentation by the staff member who left. A good reason to keep re-evaluating your in-house procedures!

4) Not notifying us of deleted authority records. This is another “biggie.” Libraries weed their collections and MARCIVE does not have a live feed into the catalog. If a library deletes a bib record that results in the last use of a particular heading, the library needs to send us the control number for that authority that no longer exists in the database as a delete.  We will then remove the control number from the library’s history file so updates to the heading are not sent.  If not, we could potentially give you an updated version of that same authority record the following month. This leads to blind headings. Please contact your MARCIVE Technical Representative if you need assistance setting this up.

We would love your feedback! Please leave a comment in the comments section. If this is regarding an individual libraries concern, please contact your Marketing Representative or the general contact page.
-written by Ligia Groff, MLS

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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