Vol. 2 No. 2 (2011)

Keeping Libraries Relevant in the Semantic Web with RDA: Resource Description and Access

Barbara Tillett
Library of Congress

Published 2011-10-28


  • RDA,
  • Catalogazione bibliografica,
  • Descrizione bibliografica,
  • Metadati

How to Cite

Tillett, Barbara. 2011. “Keeping Libraries Relevant in the Semantic Web With RDA: Resource Description and Access”. JLIS.It 2 (2). https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-4760.


Cataloging is not just building a catalog. It is about providing users with timely access to information relevant to their needs. The task of identifying resources collected by libraries, archives, and museums results in rich metadata that can be re-used for many purposes ("user tasks"). It involves describing resources and showing their relationships to persons, families, corporate bodies, and other resources, thereby enabling users to navigate through surrogates of the resources to more quickly get information they need. The metadata constructed throughout the life cycle of a resource is especially valuable to many types of users, from creators of resources to publishers, subscription agents, book vendors, resource aggregators, system vendors, libraries and other cultural institutions, and end users of these resources. The new international cataloging code, RDA: Resource Description and Access, is designed to meet fundamental user tasks in a way that produces well-formed, interconnected metadata for the digital environment, offering a way to keep libraries relevant in the Semantic Web.


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