Exposing library catalogs in the web of data, such is the objective of the Bibliographic Transition program, launched in November 2015 under the aegis of the two bibliographic agencies (Abes and BnF). It unfolds in three parts: publication and adoption of a new cataloging code; information and advice to libraries and software publishers for the development of applications; support for the French documentation community through awareness-raising and training actions.
New cataloging code RDA-FR relies on conceptual modeling (first FRBR then IFLA LRM) that covers bibliographic and holdings data, authority data and subject relationship. This modeling makes it possible to distinguish entities currently entangled in bibliographic records. The drafting of this code is progressive and an important step was taken in 2017 with the publication of several chapters of Section 2 on works and expressions, Section 3 on agents and Section 5 on the main relationships between Work, Expression, Manifestation and Item entities. These chapters are in addition to the elements relating to the identification of manifestations, the publication of which, started in 2015, is continuing.
The two bibliographic agencies are considering the continued use of MARC cataloging formats by making them compatible with the needs of the web. These changes in formats are impacting cataloging software, while retrospective processing projects for existing records are gradually being set in motion, also requiring developments in this same software. This is how the transformation of catalogs according to FRBR then IFLA LRM models begins almost everywhere in French libraries and will continue over several years. Watch, feedback, IT recommendations, professional days… So many means put in place to enable libraries to prepare their local catalog to absorb the data reprocessed by the agencies and to engage in constant dialogue with commercial publishers in order to promote the adaptation of the software and services offer to changes in standards.
The establishment of a national network of trainers Since 2015, it has made it possible to raise awareness among institution managers of the organizational and functional impacts of the Bibliographic Transition and of the strategic issues related to data. Two courses are available: “Awareness of the evolution of catalogs” and “Application of RDA-FR cataloging rules published in 2015 and 2016”. By imparting their knowledge to higher education and public reading in collaboration with the Regional Training Centers for Library Professions (CRFCB) and the National Center for the Territorial Public Service (CNFPT), these trainers thus participate in the good territorial coverage in terms of the evolution of cataloging practices.
A project was recently attached to the Bibliographic Transition programme. It’s about National entity file (FNE)project for a common platform for the production of authority data – the entities – that can be shared for the networks of library and documentation professionals.