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Cataloguing methods and standards are in an exciting and uncertain state.  RDA is coming!  What does this mean?  Like many librarians, I’m waiting to see what will happen.

Card catalog from flickr stream of DukeUnivLibraries under licence CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Card catalog from flickr stream of DukeUnivLibraries under licence CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

However, we shouldn’t worry about the hybrid future in which RDA and AACR2 records will co-exist.  It was ever thus, as this piece by Anne Welsh explains.  Anne has unearthed a lovely 1904 quotation from Eric Cutter about card catalogues in which he concludes that “the public will never notice the difference” between cards using different standards.  I suspect he was right and same is true now.

Anne’s blog post also links to the December 2012 issue of Catalogue & Index, which includes papers from the CIG 2012 conference.  If you want a good overview of cataloguing right now (advocacy, standards, skills etc), this issue is a very good place to start.

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