LIBR 298-05
LIBR 298-14
Special Studies
Topic: Transition to RDA
Summer 2010 Greensheet

Dr. Robert Ellett
Office Location: Norfolk, VA
Office Hours:
Office hours and telephone conferences arranged by e-mail

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
Deliverable Products
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll for this course on ANGEL between  June 5-7, 2010. You will be required to use a password access code which the instructor will provide using the MySJSU Messaging system.

Course Description

The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA, formerly the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR, has developed a new cataloging code, RDA (Resource Description and Access), which is scheduled for release in June 2010. The last update to AACR2 was in 2005.

What are the implications of RDA for libraries and their catalogers, how does RDA differ from AACR2, and what issues will need to be addressed in preparation for the new standard?

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 202, 248, 249 

Course Objectives

The course is designed to offer you the opportunity to:

  • discover critical differences between AACR2 and RDA
  • critique the RDA Toolkit Interface
  • perform descriptive cataloging with RDA and the outline of general rules for description of an item
  • learn how to describe bibliographic relationships which will allow bibliographic records to express the relationships described in Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR)
  • create access points and use authority control, which will also take into consideration Functional Requirements for Authority Records
  • learn and articulate considerations in preparing libraries and library staff for the change to RDA – what needs to be done now?

LIBR 298 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge.

In addition, this section supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information
  • design training programs based on appropriate learning principles and theories
  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional-level presentations
  • evaluate programs and services on specified criteria

Course Requirements

Virtual Classes
Optional synchronous virtual classes will be scheduled during the course using the Elluminate software. These classes will be recorded for later viewing. Live attendance is not required or monitored.


Topic(s) Covered
What is RDA?
Evaluation RDA Toolkit Interface
RDA vs. AACR2 Content Evaluation
Issues in RDA Implementation

Deliverable Products
Students will be evaluated in the performance of the following tasks:

Product Percentage of Final Grade Due Date
Assignment 1 (Annotated Bibliography) 25% 6/18
Assignment 2 (RDA Toolkit Interface Evauation) 25% 7/9
Assignment 3 (AACR2 and RDA Comparison) 25% 7/30
Assignment 4 (RDA Implementation Paper) 25% 8/12



Attendance and Participation
To receive the most benefit from this course, you must read the text and online resource materials, complete the assignments, and participate in class activities. Regular participation has a positive effect on the course grade earned.

Late Assignments and Incompletes
Late assignments will not be accepted. If you have an illness (medical certificate supplied) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor. Incomplete grades will not be granted except in extraordinary circumstances. Supporting documentation will be required in cases of medical or health emergencies.

Submission of Exercises and Assignments
Please submit all exercises and assignments via the appropriate Angel Assignment Dropbox.

File names for graded assignments should consist of your last name, the letter A and the number of the exercise such as SmithA1.

Submission of Emails
In the message line, begin with 298:

Follow step #1 with a short message topic, such as: 298: RDA Core Elements Question

This measure will cause my email service to prioritize your message to the top of my list of emails. I typically receive between 75-200 emails daily. Using this procedure will certainly increase my response time.

I will attempt to respond to your email messages as soon as possible, typically within 48 hours. If I find that your question/comment would assist other students in the class, I may post it anonymously in the announcements or discussion forum.

I will inform you via an Angel announcement if/when I will be away from email for more than 48 hours. Email address:

Textbooks and Readings


  • Articles
    • Adams, Katherine, Britta Santamauro, and Kurt Blythe. “Successive Entry, Latest Entry, or None of the Above? How the MARC 21 Format, FRBR and the Concept of a Work Could Revitalize Serials Management.” The Serials Librarian, vol. 54, no. 3/4 (2008:May), p. 193-7
    • Ascher, James P. “What's the Big Deal with RDA? Or, Some Thoughts on the Heliocentric Universe.” Colorado Libraries, vol. 34, no. 3 (2008), p. 57-61
    • Chapman, Ann. “RDA: A Cataloguing Code for the 21st Century.” Library & Information Update, vol. 7, no. 9 (2008:Sept.), p. 28-30.
    • Conners, David. “A Ghost in the Catalog: The Gradual Obsolescence of the Main Entry.” The Serials Librarian, vol. 55, no. 1/2 (2008), p. 85-97.
    • Eden, Bradford Lee. “Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records.” Library Technology Reports, vol. 42, no. 6 (2006:Nov./Dec.).
    • Gorman, Michael. “RDA: Imminent Debacle.” American Libraries, vol. 38, no. 11 (2007:Dec.), p. 64-65.
    • Howarth, Lynne C. and Jean Weihs. “Enigma Variations: Parsing the Riddle of Main Entry ‘Rule of Three’ from AACR2 to RDA.” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, vol. 46, no. 2 (2008:July), p. 201-220.
    • Howarth, Lynne C. and Jean Weihs. “Making the Link: AACR to RDA: Part 1: Setting the Stage.” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, vol. 45, no. 2 (2007:Oct.), p. 3-18.
    • Intner, Sheila S. “RDA: Progress or Problem?” Technicalities, vol. 28, no. 4 (2008:July/Aug.), p. 1, 14-15.
    • Intner, Sheila S. “RDA: Will It Be Cataloger's Judgment or Cataloger's Judgment Day?” Technicalities, vol. 26, no. 2 (2006:Mar./Apr.), p.1, 10-12.
    • Kraus, Daniel. “Controversies in Cataloging.” American Libraries, vol. 38, no. 9 (2007:Oct.), p. 66-67.
    • Oliver, Chris. “Changing to RDA.” Feliciter, vol. 53, no. 5 (2007), p. 250-253.
    • Taniguchi, Shoichi. "Expression-Level Bibliographic Entity Records: A Trial on Creation from Pre-Existing MARC Records.” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 2 (2004:Sept.), p. 33-59.
    • Tennant, Roy. “Will RDA Be DOA?” Library Journal, vol. 132, no. 5 (2007:Mar. 15), p. 25.
    • Weihs, Jean and Lynne C. Howarth. “Uniform Titles from AACR to RDA.”Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, vol. 46, no. 4 (2008:Sept.), p. 362-384.
  • Books
    • Maxwell, Robert L. FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed. Chicago: American Library Association, 2008.
    • Taylor, Arlene G. Understanding FRBR: What It Is and How It Will Affect Our Retrieval Tools. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited, 2007.
  • Online
    • Coyle, Karen and Diane Hillmann. “Resource Description and Access (RDA): Cataloging Rules for the 20th Century.” D-Lib Magazine, vol. 13, no. 1/2 (2007:Jan./Feb.).
    • Dunsire, Gorden. “Distinguishing Content from Carrier: The RDA/ONIX Framework for Resource Categorization.” D-Lib Magazine, vol. 13, no. 1/2 (2007:Jan./Feb.).
    • Mimno, David, Gregory Crane, and Alison Jones. “Hierarchical Catalog Records Implementing a FRBR Catalog.” D-Lib Magazine, vol. 11, no. 10 (2005:Oct.).
    • Tillett, Barbara B. What Is FRBR? A Conceptual Model for the Bibliographic Universe. (Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 2003).

Additional resources accompanying topic specific lectures are located under Course Documents in Angel and will be posted during the course.

No Textbooks For This Course

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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