You need to get your person who maintains your webpac  (Hey! Wait a minute!  Is that you ?!  ;-)  to edit config files like webpub.def,  change a label here and there, suppress the public display of some of this new machine-intended language,....etc.... to survive what looks like a very long oozing transition into RDA-space.  Hopefully this will prevent new RDA-speak like "text/unmediated/volume" from turning into a "catalog-unmitigated-disaster."   ( <--- Cataloging humor!  )


Tom Klingler
Assistant Dean for Technical Services
University Libraries, 383
1125 Risman Drive
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio 44242-0001

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ken Irwin
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 3:05 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] RDA gibberish in user interface

Hi all,

In our library, we've noticed lately a lot of raw-looking RDA info from MARC records that shows up in the user interface. Our head of tech services translated the gibberish for the librarians, and we are now considering what to do with it. (The example and her excellent translations follow at the end of the message.) When I first saw the RDA info in the OPAC, I assumed it was a mistake - that a field accidentally got unhidden.
It seems to me that we should either suppress the RDA info or we should have library systems (e.g. OPACs) that turn the gibberish into human-intelligible text. Has anyone attempted to do the latter?

Because there are so many possibilities, it would be a substantial undertaking to build and maintain a "translator". I'm imagining that we as a community might undertake to build an open-source dataset that provides generic translations, and that the platform-dependent groups of us (III users, Ex Libris users, etc) might build little JQuery scripts or whatever to integrate the tranlations into the user interfaces.

Does this make sense? Is it just silly and we should suppress the data?

What think you all?


xvi, 219 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm

text txt rdacontent

unmediated n rdamedia

volume nc rdacarrier

What this means:

The form of communication through which a work is expressed.

            336                             text txt rdacontent                The rda content is text (abbreviated by txt)
translation:  content is expressed by text

Media type reflects the general type of intermediation device required to view, play, run, etc., the content of a resource.
            337                             unmediated n rdamedia       The rda media is unmediated (abbreviated as [blank]
translation: you do not need anything other than your eyes to access the text

Carrier type reflects the format of the storage medium and housing of a carrier in combination with the media type (which indicates the intermediation device required to view, play, run, etc., the content of a resource). Field 338 information enables indication of more specific carrier types and carrier types from various lists.

            338                             volume nc rdacarrier             The rda carrier (abbreviated as c) is volume
translation: the text is stored in a volume (ie, monograph)

SO, a DVD record would look like this:


1 videodisc (approximately 152 minutes) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in

two-dimensional moving image tdi rdacontent

video v rdamedia

videodisc vd rdacarrier

336      two-dimensional moving image tdm  rdacontent  = projected medium, ie movie
337      video v rdamedia                                                       = you need a some sort of video player to access the content of this movie
338      videodisc  vd rdacarrier                                             = the movie is stored on a dvd