Wednesday, March 30, 2016

RDA Exceptions : Glossary of Library & Information Science

Glossary of Library & Information Science
RDA EXCEPTIONS  In Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging rules there are a number of guidelines and instructions that are labeled as exceptions. Some instructions are scoped as being applicable only to certain types of resources (such as serials). An exception is an instruction that takes precedence over the immediately preceding instruction and applies to a specific type of resource, condition, etc. Here in RDA Toolkit, a LC-PCC PS appears which suggests the LC practice is to apply the guidelines in Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) (DCRM(B)) for books published before 1801 and selected early 19th century resources instead of RDA rules. Unlike alternatives and options, exceptions are not subordinate to general instructions, therefore, RDA exceptions generally do not require policy statements, although some exceptional situations may require some additional considerations. Exceptions must be followed when applicable. They are provided when it is necessary to depart from a rule’s instructions because of a specific type of resource or situation.

RDA Options : Glossary of Library & Information Science

Glossary of Library & Information Science

RDA Options  In Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging rules there are a number of guidelines and instructions that are labeled as options. Options appear in two forms in RDA, viz. optional additions and optional omissions. The optional addition of data that supplement what is called for in the immediately preceding instruction, or the optional omission of specific data called for in the immediately preceding instruction. Hence, it can be said that optional instruction offers the opportunity to either supplement required data with additional information (metadata), or omit data from what is instructed in the preceding rules. Here it is important to note that each library or cataloging agency can decide when or whether to follow the options or just follow the rules in the immediately preceding instruction. They may choose to establish their own policies and guidelines on the application of the options or leave decisions on the use of options to the cataloger’s judgment. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

RDA Alternatives : Glossary of Library & Information Science

Glossary of Library & Information Science

RDA Alternatives   In Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging rules there are a number of guidelines and instructions that are labeled as alternatives. Alternative guidelines and instructions  in Resource Description and Access (RDA) provide an alternative approach to what is specified in the immediately preceding guideline or instruction. A cataloger can choose to follow the rule or the alternative

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Core Elements : Glossary of Library & Information Science

Core Elements in Resource Description and Access (RDA) cataloging


  • Definition of RDA Core Elements
  • Types RDA Core Elements
  • 20 Examples of RDA Core Elements

Glossary of Library & Information Science

CORE ELEMENTS  Core elements in Resource Description & Access (RDA) are minimum elements required for describing resources. Core elements are a new feature of RDA which allowed for certain metadata elements to be identified as “required” in the cataloging process. The assignment of core status is based on attributes mandatory for a national level record, as documented in the FRBR/FRAD modules. At a minimum, a bibliographic description should include all the required core elements that are applicable. Core-ness is identified at the element level. Some elements are always core (if applicable and the information is available); some are core only in certain situations. Core elements are identified in two ways within RDA. The first is that all core elements are discussed in general, and listed as a group, in the sub-instructions of "RDA 0.6: Core Elements". In the separate chapters, the core elements are also identified individually by the label “CORE ELEMENT” at the beginning of the instructions for each element. They are clearly labeled in light blue at each core instruction in RDA Toolkit.  If the status of an element as core depends upon the situation, an explanation appears after the “Core element” label.

See, for example, this label for the core element for the title.
        2.3. Title
                CORE ELEMENT
             The title proper is a core element. Other titles are optional.

The Joint Steering Committee (JSC) for the development of RDA decided it would be preferable to designate certain elements as “core” rather than designating all elements as either “required” or “optional.” Decisions on core elements were made in the context of the FRBR and FRAD user tasks.
AACR2 provided three levels of bibliographic description. The first level, also known as minimal-level cataloging, contains, at least, the elements that basically identify the resource without providing and detailed description. The second level, also known as standard-level cataloging, provides all applicable elements to uniquely all copies for a manifestation. The third level represents full description and contains all elements provided in the rules that are applicable to the item being described. RDA does not define levels of description, instead, it identifies a number of elements as core elements. Core elements in RDA are similar to AACR2 minimal-level cataloging bibliographic description.

RDA Core Elements comprises elements that fulfill the user tasks of find, identify, and select. Only one instance of a core element is required. Subsequent instances are optional. For example, for the core element “Place of Publication” the RDA instruction states: “If more than one place of publication appears on the source of information, only the first recorded is required. If all the core elements (that are applicable) are recorded and a resource is still indistinguishable from another resource(s), then additional metadata is necessary. Additional metadata elements, beyond the core, are included based on the necessity for differentiation, policy statements, cataloger’s judgment, and/or local institutional policies. Catalogers should make a proper judgment about what additional elements or multiple values of a single element are necessary to make the catalog record understandable and the cataloged resource discoverable.

Types of Core Elements
  • RDA Core: Required elements that are always core as prescribed in RDA
  • RDA Core if: Core, if applicable and Core, if the information is available
  • LC Core and LC-PCC Core: Core elements prescribed by LC and PCC in addition to RDA Core and RDA Core if. (Some other institutions also have their own set of core elements)
20 Examples of RDA Core Elements

Statement of responsibility
Edition statement
Numbering of serials
  • 2.6.2 Numeric and/or alphabetic designation of first issue or part of sequence (for first or only sequence)
  • 2.6.3 Chronological designation of first issue or part of sequence (for first or only sequence)
  • 2.6.4 Numeric and/or alphabetic designation of last issue or part of sequence (for last or only sequence)
  • 2.6.5 Chronological designation of last issue or part of sequence (for last or only sequence)
  • For more details see: Numbering of Serials in RDA Cataloging
Production statement
Publication statement
Series statement
  • 2.12.2 Title proper of series
  • 2.12.9 Numbering within the series
  • 2.12.10 Title proper of subseries
  • 2.12.17 Numbering within subseries
Identifier for the manifestation
Carrier type
  • 3.3 Carrier type
  • 3.4 Extent (only if the resource is complete or if the total extent is known)
USED FOR: RDA Core Elements

Glossary of Library & Information Science

All librarians and information professionals may use information from Glossary of Library & Information Science for their writings and research, with proper attribution and citation. I would appreciate it if you would let me know, too! 

Please provide us your valuable feedback in the Guest Book on Contact Us page to make Librarianship Studies & Information Technology Blog a better place for information on Library and Information Science and Information Technology related to libraries. Let us know your review of this definition of Core Elements. You can also suggest edits/additions to this description of Core Elements.


Salman Haider - Librarian, Cataloger, Blogger

  • Revised 2016-10-07 
  • Written 2016-03-20


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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Librarian : Glossary of Library & Information Science

Definition of a Librarian and 11 Excellent Infographics About The Librarian highlighting their duties, functions, roles, responsibilities, worth, and importance, with interesting facts and figures.

Glossary of Library & Information Science
Glossary of Library & Information Science

  A librarian is a person who is in charge of or works professionally in a library and is responsible for its management and services. Librarian takes care of the library and its resources. Typical job of a librarian includes managing collection development and acquisitions, cataloging, collections management, circulation, and providing a range of services, such as reference, information, instruction, and training services, etc.

Librarians are trained in library and information science and are engaged in providing library services, usually holding a degree in library science. In the United States, the title Librarian is reserved for persons who have been awarded the ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science or MLIS degree or certified as professionals by a state agency.

In a small library, such as a school library a single librarian may be responsible for managing the overall functions of the library but big libraries, such as a large academic library may have much staff to carry out different functions of the library depending on their qualifications, expertise, and functional specializations, e.g. acquisition librarian, archivists, cataloging librarian, electronic resources librarian, metadata librarian, reference librarian, serials librarian, systems librarian, etc. Based on the type of the library served, librarians may be classified as a school librarian, academic librarian, special librarian, etc.

The increasing role of technology in libraries has a significant impact on the changing roles of librarians. A 21st-century librarian is required to be very much updated of technological changes. New age librarians are making greater use of emerging technologies in the library management and services to make it more popular and useful among the patrons. New age librarians are not mere bookworms, they are high-tech information professionals, and clever communicators, helping patrons dive in the oceans of information available in books and digital records.

The following section highlights a librarian's duties, functions, roles, responsibilities, worth, importance, with interesting facts and figures:
  • Librarians are regular people who have interests in all sorts of different thing. Strong libraries build strong students and it is the librarian who actually manages the functions and services of the library. In an academic setup students performance improves significantly with high librarian collaboration.
  • A modern librarian may deal with the provision of acquisition, maintenance, and dissemination of information in many formats, viz. books, ebooks, serials, sound recordings, moving images, video recordings, manuscripts, cartographic materials, computer files, photographs and other graphic materials, databases, and digital resources, etc.
  • Collection Development and Acquisitions: Selection and ordering of resource according to the collection development policy of the library and evaluating needs of patrons, receiving resources,  paying invoices, managing acquisitions of resources through purchase, subscription, license, gifts, and donations, and weeding out unrequired items.
  • Cataloging and Metadata: Descriptive cataloging, subject cataloging, and authority control, that will enable discovery of library resources online, providing metadata for digital resources.
  • Collections Management: Stamping the resources indicating the ownership of the library, pasting due date slip for circulation, affixing call number label, barcode, and putting RFID tags, preservation, repair, etc.
  • Library Circulation: Loan function of lending library materials. Library Circulation includes checking out library materials to library users, renewing the borrowed items, reserving checked out items for the patron, checking in materials returned, checking the materials for damage at the time of return, if found damaged then giving that to responsible staff for repair and when repair is not possible then replacement, renewal of materials, receiving payment of fines for damaged and overdue materials and payment for subscription to the library and other charges, maintaining order in the stacks by re-shelving the library materials by call number given by classification system, such as Library of Congress Classification (LCC) or Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system.
  • Digital Resources Management: Providing and maintaining access to licensed electronic resources. Digitizing collections for online access and maintenance of electronic resource and databases. Develop systems to organize & present digital collections. Develop systems to discover & harvest born-digital information. The rising popularity of digital archives, web-based content creation, and electronic media has shifted the way communities use libraries in the 21st century. Excessive reliance on computers have made the role of a librarian more relevant and important. 
  • The traditional librarian was a custodian responsible for selecting and caring for physical materials but today's librarian works also a digital custodian, providing access to electronic as well as physical materials, maintaining specialized knowledge of digital databases, and evaluating electronic materials and acquiring licenses.
  • Reference and Information Services: Making reading suggestions and recommendations to library patrons. Answering questions by the users in person, on the phone, by e-mail, online chat, text messages, and on social media such as through a Facebook Page. Going through too many resources, in order to pick up the most valuable ones is one of the skills the patrons could learn with a help of a librarian. Librarians assist patrons with research and locating library materials on-site and in specialized electronic resources.
  • Instruction Services: Providing instructions and teachings in effective  discovery & use of information. In times of the internet, what we mostly struggle with is the information overload, not a lack of it. Today's students are tech-savvy, but they don't know how to find required information  and they need instruction and guidance. Creating guides, tutorials, handouts for effective use of library materials. The traditional librarian was a guide, assisting users in finding relevant materials. Today's librarian is a digital guide, educating patrons about the use of digital library services and generalized digital literacy, providing virtual service to users, often through library websites. 
  • Outreach Services: Develop programs & exhibits that highlight library collections. Work with diverse user communities. Coordinating programs such as storytelling for children,  information literacy or health information, reading clubs, a book talk, etc. The traditional librarian was a PR officer, maintaining connections with community institutions and other libraries. Today's librarian is a digital PR officer, developing relationships with database managers, electronic publishers, etc., hosting community events, partnering with other libraries to increase access to materials.
  • Personnel Management: Leading, training, and supervising library staff.
  • Library Planning: Planning a new library or planning for the organization and services of an established library.
  • Financial Management: Managing finance aspects and allocation of budgets.
  • Planning fundraising for library
  • Keeping up to date with modern library technology
  • In a survey, it is found that 75 percent of all the librarians are between the age group of 25-55.
  • Job opportunities are on the positive side as a large number of trained librarians will be required to fill the positions.
  • Librarians are teachers, problem solvers, innovators, collaborators, leaders, and learners.

LCSH entry in Library of Congress Authorities

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053_0 |a Z720 |c Biography
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USED FOR: Librarians

Please provide us your valuable feedback in the Guest Book on Contact Us page to make Librarianship Studies & Information Technology Blog a better place for information on Library and Information Science and Information Technology related to libraries. Let us know your review of this definition of Librarian. You can also suggest edits/additions to this description of Librarian.


1) Evolution Of The Noble Librarian [Source]

2) What Librarians Do [Source]

3) Anatomy Of A Librarian [Source]

4) Many Reasons You Need Your Librarian [Source]

5) The Times They Are A Changin [Source]

6) Librarians In The Digital Age [Source]

7) I Am A {Social} Librarian [Source]

8) Librarians Matter [Source]

9) A Librarian's Worth [Source]

10) A Librarian's Daily Duties [Source]

11) Future Ready Librarians [Source]


  • Last Updated 2017-03-24 [Added an external link] 
  • Written 2016-03-05



  • Help us improve this article! Contact us with your feedback.
  • Sally C. TsengFormer Librarian, University of California, Irvine United States [March 14, 2016,  e-mail in AUTOCAT] Hello Salman, Thank you very much for sharing these informative links.  Your time and hard work are a real contribution to librarianship!
  • N V Sathyanarayana, CMD, Informatics (India) Ltd., [March 18, 2016, LinkedIn Group Special Libraries Association] -- Congratulations! Salman for your valuable and painstaking compilation. I went through your blog. It is both fun and rewarding to browse. I enjoyed browsing through your blog assimilating interesting facts about the world of librarianship that is struggling to evolve as Information Science in a new and fast changing competitive world of ICT.
  • Translation of this article in Spanish - University of Salamanca [Salamanca, Spain]

Thanks all for your love, suggestions, testimonials, likes, +1, tweets, and shares ...