RDA Toolkit and MLA Best Practices update

The February 9, 2016 release of the RDA Toolkit included a variety of revisions to MLA’s Best Practices and the supplements.

 BP 1.7.5 now includes recommendations related to typographical devices used as separators (as in Colchester · Essex · England) and symbols that cannot be reproduced (such as the four symbols that form the title of Led Zeppelin’s otherwise untitled fourth album).

 BP now includes guidance applicable to scores bearing a stated voice range.

 BP now includes guidance for how to treat a phrase that introduces a medium of performance (as in “with an accompaniment for a violin”).

 BP now includes an example of an audio recording bearing a statement of responsibility for the performer and a separate statement of responsibility for the composers.

 BP 2.8.4 now includes guidance on when to treat a trade name as a series title instead of a label name.

 BP 2.15 now includes an example of a two-disc audio recording with consecutive numbers encoded in two separate 028 fields and an example of a two-disc audio recording that also has a truncated set number encoded in its own 028 field. AACR2 practitioners will recall that previous practice was to ignore a truncated set number (such as NI 5885/6) and only record the individual numbers (NI 5885 and NI 5886). Now all three numbers should be recorded in separate 028 fields utilizing $q.

 BP 3.16.4 and BP 3.19.3 and the supplements now clarify through examples that $2 rda should only be used in 3XX fields whose terms conform to vocabularies within RDA.

 In other chapter 3 news, the supplements now consistently show that the playing speed of a Blu-ray audio disc should be coded as “z” in 007/03. In the table of values and encodings for audio carriers, brackets have been removed for all terms. Most are now found in RDA, and the two that are not found in RDA (“Blu-ray audio” and “PVC”) are supplied without brackets and without $2 rda. Values and encodings have been added for streaming audio.

 BP 7.20 now contains guidance on encoding format of music (in 008/20 and 006/03) and music parts (in 008/21 and 006/04) as well as guidance applicable to a composer’s sketches. This BP now recommends utilizing the relatively new MARC field 348 to encode format of notated music once it has been approved for use in OCLC. Score catalogers should incorporate this into their workflow, taking advantage of constant data records and macros. While this will necessitate added effort on the part of score catalogers, implementation of the 348 field will make format of notated music immediately machine-actionable. This is a separate data element from the solely human-readable text strings recorded to satisfy the extent of notated music element in RDA 3.4.3, which itself is expected to be overhauled in the coming years. Stay tuned.

 BP now includes examples of different qualifiers used in the authorized access points for musical groups with the same name.

 Typos and other minor errors were corrected in both the BPs themselves (accessible only via the RDA Toolkit) and in the supplements (accessible via the MLA CMC website).

 Thanks to all who were involved in this effort.

ALA Midwinter 2016 CC:DA Meeting Notes

Notes from the ALA Midwinter 2016 meetings of CC:DA are available at:


For more detailed descriptions of some of the work referenced in the Midwinter notes, see notes from ALA Annual 2015:


Content Standards Subcommittee 2016 business meeting agenda

The agenda for the 2016 business meeting of the Content Standards Subcommittee is available here:


The business meeting is open to all. See you there!


Tracey Snyder

Chair, Content Standards Subcommittee

RDA Toolkit and MLA Best Practices update

The October 13, 2015 release of the RDA Toolkit included minimal revisions to MLA’s Best Practices.

One revision affects 2.15.3 (Plate Number for Music). When a plate number on a score has an additional number (often after a dash) corresponding to the number of pages or plates, it is to be recorded as part of the plate number instead of ignored. The plate number may optionally also be recorded without this additional number. For example:

028 22 23009-11 $b Carl Fischer

028 20 23009 $b Carl Fischer

Further revision was done to 7.13.3 (Form of Musical Notation). The August release included new guidance about MARC encoding for multiple designations of form of musical notation as well as new examples. The October release adds new guidance covering details of form of musical notation as well as new examples. There is now sufficient guidance for cases such as chord symbols, chord diagrams, verbal instructions, etc.

Typos and various other errors were corrected both in the BPs themselves (accessible only via the RDA Toolkit) and in the supplements (accessible via the MLA CMC website).

Thanks to everyone who was involved in this effort.


The August release included new guidance for 3.16.3 (Recording Medium) that was not publicized. Recording medium (“optical,” “magnetic,” etc.) should now be recorded as applicable, in MARC 344 $b. As an example, the full array of 34X values for a typical CD with stereo playback is as follows:

344      digital $b optical $g stereo $2 rda

347      audio file $b CD audio $2 rda

RDA Toolkit and MLA Best Practices update

The August 11, 2015 update of the RDA Toolkit included some revisions to MLA’s Best Practices to bring it in line with revisions that were made to the RDA instructions in the April update. Some BPs have been deleted; some BPs have been relocated; some BPs have been renumbered and/or relabeled (see especially the 6.14.2 area); some BPs have been revised. A few additional revisions unrelated to the April update of the RDA instructions were also made to the BPs.

 Highlights of the August 11 update include improved guidance and examples for (Statement of Responsibility—Scope), 2.11 (Copyright Date), and 7.13.3 (Form of Musical Notation). The new guidance at does broaden the scope a bit, and the new guidance at 2.11 restores historic practice for recording the latest phonogram copyright date that can be determined to apply to a resource as a whole.

 Typos and various other errors were corrected both in the BPs themselves (accessible only via the RDA Toolkit) and in the supplements (accessible only via the MLA CMC website). A few new ones were introduced, too, but we’ll get ‘em next time!

 Thanks to everyone who was involved in this significant effort.

RDA and FRBR-LRM news

Gordon Dunsire, chair of the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC), gave a presentation at ALA about the new governance structure of RDA. Transition to the new structure will begin this year and end before 2020. See his slides for more information.

The FR conceptual models (FRBR, FRAD, and FRSAD) are being consolidated into a unified model, tentatively called the FRBR-Library Reference Model (FRBR-LRM), which is expected to be ready for worldwide review in early 2016. See the IFLA paper for more information.

Relationship designators in bibliographic records–PCC training manual

The Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Standing Committee on Training (SCT) published a training manual for applying relationship designators in bibliographic records in January 2015. See http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/sct/documents/rel-desig-guide-bib.pdf.

New relationship designators may be proposed using the PCC relationship designator proposal form. See http://www.loc.gov/aba/pcc/scs/RD-Requests.html.

Please use MOUG-L to discuss ideas for new or revised relationship designators, or contact any of the following people:

Kathy Glennan, ALA representative to the Joint Steering Committee

Beth Iseminger, Chair of MLA Cataloging and Metadata Committee

Tracey Snyder, Chair of MLA Content Standards Subcommittee