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Cataloging Experts Meet in 1st NLP Salon on Resource Description and Access (RDA)

by Chona San Pedro

Distinguished librarians and/or catalogers from various institutions participated in a salon discussion on “What Now for RDA in the Philippines?” last July 23rd, 2012, at the Conference Room of the National Library of the Philippines (NLP). The meeting was hosted by the NLP Catalog Division and attended by selected experts on the topic.

The Salon focused on sharing information on Resource Description and Access (RDA), examining the implications and impact of the transition to RDA on users, and developing a timetable for the implementation of RDA in the Philippines.

Some interesting points raised:
Mr. Rodolfo Y. Tarlit, university librarian of UP-Diliman and the discussant of the Salon, discoursed with participants on RDA basics, its detailed content, its relationship with MARC21, and the effect of RDA on libraries. He also pointed out that the NLP and other library associations should, as soon as possible, lead, sponsor and conduct RDA forums and workshops to prepare Filipino catalogers, so as not to be isolated from the international cataloging community.

Ms. Corazon Nera, chairman of the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC-PRB for Librarians), briefly shared the already-underway PRC-PRB for Librarians Resolution No. 1, Series of 2012 endorsing IFLA’s International Cataloging Principles and RDA as the official cataloging standard to be adopted in the Philippines.  She expressed her hope that through this Salon and official endorsement from the NLP, the project would be realized and the Philippines could adopt RDA before 2015. Ms. Nera also informed the group that the BFL-PRC has already included RDA in the curriculum of BLIS and MLIS effective AY 2012 but it is still waiting for the approval from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Ms. Susan Pador, head of the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) Library Catalog Section, emphasized the importance of the foundations of RDA, particularly terminologies. She suggested that RDA terminologies be explained carefully in future workshops and forums before getting into more complex topics. She believed that the most foreign aspect of RDA is its terminologies.

Ms. Sonia M. Gementiza, president of Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians (PAARL), talked about the possibility of NLP Policy Statements as a counterpart of the Library of Congress Policy Statements (LCPSs) for Philippine libraries. The Policy Statements will be rule interpretations or policies from certain RDA rules that will be used in the Philippines, especially in cataloging Filipiniana materials.

Director Antonio Santos capped the Salon with the creation of a National Committee which will devise a National Plan of Action that will address the necessary education and training of Filipino librarians on RDA and related matters. The appointed members of the committee are: Prof. Ruben Marasigan, Chairman; Hon. Corazon Nera and Mr. Rodolfo Tarlit, Co-Chairpersons; Ateneo De Manila University Library, De La Salle University-Manila Library, University of Santo Thomas Library, Adamson University Library, Far Eastern University Library, and De La Salle University-Dasmarinas Library, Committee Members; with the National Library of the Philippines as Secretariat.

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