February RDA Toolkit and Best Practices Update

The February RDA Toolkit release was published on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. The release contained corrections and Fast Track changes from the RSC as outlined in document RSC/Sec 6 available at the RSC website. Several of the Fast Track changes involved conversion of tables to lists (e.g., RDA Media Type, RDA Recording Content Type) and changes to glossary terms. Of particular interest in the latter category is this addition to the definition for “container”–“an insert visible through the housing is part of the container.”

Also appearing in this release are changes to element labels, definitions, scope notes, and instructions in five categories (the first four with representative examples):

  • Replacement of the wording “person, family, or corporate body” with “agent” or “agents”
    –Chapter 19 Agents Associated with a Work
  • Deletion of articles within element names and replacement of a definite article with an indefinite article preceding element names in instructions
    –RDA 2.15 Identifier for Manifestation (was Identifier for the Manifestation)
  • Replacement of “resource” with the appropriate RDA entity where extensive revision of instruction was unnecessary
    –RDA 2.0 “…attributes of manifestations and items that are most often used to identify a manifestation or item” (was “resource”)
  • Deletion of the phrase “in this order” in instructions for access points
    –RDA “For a musical work that includes words in the form of lyrics, a libretto, text, etc. (e.g., a song, opera, musical comedy), construct the authorized access point representing the work by combining:” (no longer ends with “(in this order)”)
  • Replacement of “and/or” with “or” when appropriate.

More information about these changes can be found in document RSC/Chair/18 available at the RSC website. Several of these changes are related to the implementation of IFLA Library Reference Model (LRM). The RSC agreed at their November 2016 meeting to proceed with implementation of LRM as part of the RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R) Project.

Two Fast Track changes related to music include changes to the scope of RDA 6.14.3 Variant Title for Musical Work. In addition, the instruction for recording variant titles have been simplified (“Record a variant title for a musical work that is considered important for identification or access…”). A change to RDA Recording Illustrative Content restores “music” to the fourth paragraph of the instruction as a parenthetical choice “(e.g., chart, music)” indicating the type of illustrative content.

Changes to the MLA RDA Best Practices in this release include an updated best practice for RDA 3.19.3 Encoding Format, giving guidance for MARC encoding of terms with the removal of controlled vocabulary from this instruction. The examples in the instruction and Supplement 1 have also been updated to reflect this change. Other changes to Supplement 1 include an update to base material for cylinders and the addition of “flexi discs” (aka Soundsheet, phonosheet, etc.). The Best Practices Supplement documents are available at the CMC website.

The update also included changes to several LC-PCC Policy Statements, summarized in this document available at the LC website.

Best Practices for Using LCMPT–new version now available


The MLA Vocabularies Subcommittee is pleased to offer a new version of the document Best Practices for Using LCMPT. In addition to a number of minor formatting and stylistic updates, the following new content is incorporated:

  1. Guidance for use of the new 382 subfields $r and $t
  2. Expanded guidance on “bi-level” medium statements
  3. Expanded guidance on partial medium statements
  4. Clarification on polychoral situations

As always, feedback and questions can be directed to me (casey@mullingroup.com). Additionally, the new revision will be briefly discussed at the VS business meeting and at the CMC Town Hall at MLA Orlando.

I wish to thank the VS task group who prepared this revision, amidst a shifting landscape of MARC format updates and evolving practices with faceted vocabularies.


Casey Mullin

Encoding Standards Subcommittee 2017 Business Meeting Agenda

The Encoding Standards Subcommittee of the Music Library Association’s Cataloging and Metadata Committee will be meeting during MLA’s upcoming Annual meeting in Orlando.

This is an open meeting, so please join us on Thursday, February 23, 2017, from 3:30 to 4:55 p.m. in Salon 5 of the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando.

View the agenda to see what cool things we’ll be discussing: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxViFaIR72G1Y2JpVVJnbDNMTnM/view?usp=sharing

We hope to see you!

ALA Midwinter 2017 reports

Reports from ALA Midwinter 2017 by MLA-CMC liaisons to ALA are available. Enjoy!

Mary Huismann, Chair of Content Standards Subcommittee:

Casey Mullin, Chair of Vocabularies Subcommittee: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5MJM6hP4HZFRVNTbV9HUGVocUE/view?usp=sharing

Jim Soe Nyun, Chair of Encoding Standards Subcommittee: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxViFaIR72G1YWV1MWtsSHBia0U/view?usp=sharing

ALA Annual 2016 reports

Reports from ALA Annual 2016 by MLA-CMC liaisons to ALA are available. Enjoy!

Mary Huismann, Chair of Content Standards Subcommittee:

Casey Mullin, Chair of Vocabularies Subcommittee: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5MJM6hP4HZFVXM2RXJOSkVNV3c/view?usp=sharing

Jim Soe Nyun, Chair of Encoding Standards Subcommittee: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7wsl3doYbMKQlotUkZXS0l4Qms/view?usp=sharing