Cataloging Committee

Current Members | Bylaws | Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) | Minutes

GODORT's Cataloging Committee has four main purposes:

  • To provide a forum for technical discussions on policies and practices for government document cataloging.
  • To serve as an interface for information exchange between documents catalogers and documents users in government agencies, various types of libraries, and bibliographic networks.
  • To comment upon matters which affect the cataloging of government documents and to raise such issues as appropriate.
  • To serve as liaison with other groups within ALA and through GODORT, with Federal agencies, other library associations, and bibliographic networks.

The Committee meets twice a year, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference, to discuss description and access issues with representatives of government agencies and GODORT's liaison to CC:DA. The Committee maintains three resource "toolboxes" to assist those cataloging and processing government publications.

GODORT Cataloging Toolboxes

These Toolboxes are GODORT Cataloging LibGuides, updated by the GODORT Cataloging Committee Cataloging Toolboxes Working Group. They replace the Toolboxes for Processing and Cataloging Government Documents on the GODORT wiki. We welcome your interest and feedback as we develop these LibGuides for our community!

Topics of Interest

RDA Steering Committee (2019)

The RDA Steering Committee (RDA) is responsible for maintaining RDA: Resource Description and Access. The RDA Steering committee has a representative from each of the international regional communities (Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Asia, Europe, Oceania). The RDA Board is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the development of RDA. Its reorganization should be complete in 2019. Documents, presentations, proposals and responses are posted on the website. The RSC assigns working groups to investigate and make recommendations to develop RDA in specific areas, for example the RSC Aggregates Working Group was assigned to develop RDA for aggregate resources.

Beta RDA Toolkit and the 3-R Project (2018)

The RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign Project (3-R Project) is in progress to revise, restructure and redesign the RDA Toolkit’s display of cataloging instructions, documents, and updates. RDA: Resource Description and Access instructions are being revised to conform to the most recent conceptual reference model for library metadata, the IFLA Library Reference Model. The RDA Steering Committee is also reorganizing and redesigning the structure of the RDA Toolkit’s user interface to provide for greater flexibility according to current data management best practices. The beta RDA Toolkit has not yet been authorized by the RDA Steering Committee for use in cataloging work. For news on updates in the beta RDA Tookit, see the RDA Tookit site news. For more information on the beta RDA Toolkit, see the RDA Toolkit YouTube channel for presentations by RDA Steering Committee and RDA Board members and other experts, as well as toolkit training videos for the new beta site. The RDA Steering Committee publishes information about RDA including an RDA FAQ and 3R Project FAQ.

Superintendent of Documents Classification Guidelines (2017)

The Classification Guidelines were developed by staff in the U.S. Government Publishing Office, Library Services and Content Management, Library Technical Services section, with assistance from other staff. The Superintendent of Documents Classification System (SuDocs), also called SuDoc, is assigned to resources in the records of the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, and is based on the current organizational structure of the Federal Government. Subordinate bureaus and divisions are grouped with the parent organization. The Guidelines provide structure, class stems, and instructions by publication type and a history of the styem. It also includes guidelines for classifying electronic products and digital reproductions. The system was developed by GPO staff between 1895 and 1903, and superseded guidance is available from each page of the Guidelines. Questions on GPO-specific practices in the classification guidelines are submitted through askGPO indicating “Classification Guidelines” and answers are archived and searchable.

IFLA Library Reference Model News (2017)

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) developed the IFLA Library Reference Model (LRM) as a high-level conceptual reference model to consolidate the separately developed IFLA conceptual models, FRBR, FRAD, and FRSAD, which were used as a key design and underlying framework in the current cataloging standard RDA: Resource Description and Access in order to support bibliographic and authority data responsive to user needs. IFLA LRM was designed to be used in linked data environments. It has been corrected after world-wide review and accepted as the conceptual model for the redesign of RDA: Resource Description and Description. For more information about IFLA’s Bibliographic Conceptual Models, especially the FRBR family of conceptual models, consult the IFLA website.

E-Resource Cataloging News (2017)

The Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) Provider-Neutral E-Resource MARC Record Guide combined version August 30, 2017 has been updated for RDA on the PCC website. It contains best practices for cataloging electronic formats on provider-neutral records. The definition of the model is that it is a single bibliographic record that describes all manifestations of an online resource regardless of which content publisher or aggregator is making the manifestation available. The document contains background information, RDA Provider-Neutral Metadata Application Profile (MAP) for Serials, Integrating Resources, and Monographs, and recommendations for using specific cataloging elements in BIBCO and CONSER records. It provides best practices for provider-neutral cataloging for non-PCC cataloging agencies.

RDA Toolkit and RDA: Resource Description and Access (RDA) (2013)

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd Edition Revised (AACR2), first published in 1978. RDA is a package of data elements, guidelines, and instructions for creating library and cultural heritage resource metadata that are well-formed according to international models for user-focused linked data applications. It was first published and widely adopted by the U.S. cataloging community in 2013; although it has now been adopted by many international cataloging communities. The RDA Toolkit is an integrated, browser-based, online product that allows users to interact with a collection of cataloging-related documents and resources including RDA. It is a subscription resource, but users may request free access. RDA is published in English and many other languages and is published by the American Library Association, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations, and CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. The Library of Congress publishes RDA Training Materials in its Catalogers Learning Workshop, which provides information professionals a variety of training resources related to the organization and classification of bibliographic information.

GPO Cataloging Guidelines

The U.S. Government Publishing Office GPO Cataloging Guidelines is regularly updated online. GPO provides cataloging guidelines for bibliographic cataloging, name authorities, subject cataloging and other metadata schemes and lists the standards GPO applies in cataloging. A List of Major Changes to the GPO Guidelines Guidelines provides descriptions about significant modifications. GPO is a member of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), whose programs define high quality cataloging standards for members who contribute bibliographic records and related data to bibliographic utilities and also contribute to the National Authority File. A PDF version of the Guidelines is published semiannually. Questions on GPO-specific practices in the guidelines are submitted through askGPO indicating “Cataloging: Policies & Practices” in the subject area and answers are archived and searchable.

Previous Topics of Interest


The FRBR-Library Reference Model is now available in draft as of 02/21/2016 as presented to the International Library Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. The FRBR-Library Reference Model aims to be a high-level conceptual reference model developed within an entity-relationship modelling framework. It also aims to consolidate three models in the FR family (FRBR, FRAD, FRSAD) together. FRBR-LRM is oriented to end-user needs. User tasks are summarized as find, identify, select, obtain, and explore. Key terms to be aware of include 'nomen' and 'appellation,' as the modelling of bibliographic identities or personas in FRBR-LRM makes use of the nomen entity and the 'has appellation' relationship.

RDA News

Presentation at ALA 2012 Annual Conference: RDA and Government Publications (GODORT) Whether or not the U.S. national libraries implement RDA, records created according to this new code will be present in shared databases. This program focuses on those changes in RDA that affect government publications, including new rules for headings and authority records. Learn about decisions that will need to be made before a library implements RDA. Learn about GPO's approach to RDA and which national libraries around the world have decided to implement this new code. Important information for technical services unites implementing RDA and for public service librarians who have to interpret new catalog and database records. Monday, June 25, 8-10 am, Anaheim Convention Center Room 201A. RDA and the Library OPAC – Richard Guajardo, Progress on RDA Implementation – Regina Romano Reynolds, GPO's Preparation for RDA– Jennifer Davis

Resource Description and Access (RDS) and the Implications of RDA for Federal Deposistory Libraries. GPO information page, announced July 12, 2011.

Statement from the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, and the National Library of Medicine regarding the Report and Recommendations of the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee on the Implementation of RDA -- Resource Description & Access. June 13, 2011

Executive Summary of the Report and Recommendations of the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee June 13, 2011

Current RDA resources - Library of Congress

Provider-Neutral E-Monograph MARC Record Guide has been posted to the BIBCO Web site. In anticipation of an implementation date of August 1, 2009, the guide was posted to the BIBCO Web site. Thanks to Provider Neutral Task Force members Becky Culbertson, Yael Mandelstam, and George Prager for preparing the guide. The document contains background information, a metadata application profile (MAP), and examples to guide BIBCO and other catalogers in creating provider neutral e-monograph records.

Also in anticipation of an August 1, 2009 implementation date, the CONSER Standard Record Guidelines (CSR) have been revised to incorporate PCC practices for online series qualifiers (for background please see the Library of Congress CONSER website).

LCRI 25.5B has been revised to support the CONSER practice of not requiring a uniform title for an online monographic series solely to differentiate online from other physical mediums. This revision is included in the Cataloger's Desktop 2009 Issue 3 released July 31, 2009.

Resource Description and Access (RDA) webcasts

2/17/09 - In a series of webcasts, Dr. Barbara Tillett, Chief, Policy and Standards Division of the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate, presents information about Resource Description and Access (RDA), the next generation cataloging code. Presentations currently available include one providing background and an overview of RDA, and one on the cataloging principles of RDA. Future presentations will focus on Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records (FRBR), Functional Requirements of Authority Data (FRAD), and the content and structure of RDA.

MARC Proposal 2008-06

With field 440 becoming obsolete, some are asking "How are you dealing with $x ISSN in the 440's that isn't legal in the 8xx?" To address this, the proposal suggests adding information associated with the Series Added Entry fields (800-830).