Crash Course in Basic Cataloging with RDA
by Heather Lea Moulaison and Raegan Wiechert
October 2015, 164pp, 8 1/2 x 11
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-3776-0
$50, £39, 44€, A69
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3777-7
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Unfamiliar with the numerous advances and changes to organization of information and cataloging in the last decade? No matter; this guide explains the basics of current cataloging practice—including new RDA rules—in plain, everyday language.

Covering tools, terminology, and the FRBR-based RDA approach to description, this book explains the current principles of organization of information and basic cataloging practices for non-catalogers, enabling readers to understand elements of the cataloging process and interact with records in a basic manner.

Organization of information and cataloging is often the most daunting task for library technicians and non-catalogers working in the library. New RDA cataloging rules can be baffling for even the more seasoned catalogers. Written by two authors with 20 years’ combined experience in cataloging instruction, Crash Course in Basic Cataloging with RDA approaches current principles of organization of information and cataloging practices from a basic standpoint for non-catalogers. It makes a complex topic easy to understand and a complicated practice doable for those without the proper training and necessary experience.

The book gives readers a basic understanding of organization of information and cataloging practice, explaining how records are created and the approaches to different formats of information in libraries, including MARC records and encoding RDA cataloging records; offering assistance in applying RDA; identifying the cataloger’s tools; and providing non-technical explanations for the tasks that today’s catalogers do. It contains an introduction, a bibliography/webliography, and three appendices of additional resources (Cataloging Tools, Resources for Catalogers, and Sample Catalog Records).


  • Provides an easy-to-follow, basic understanding of organization of library information and cataloging practice that explains how records are created and offers assistance in applying RDA
  • Offers valuable insight for non-catalogers (and even non-librarians) into the practices and tools used in organization of information and cataloging by documenting the work that catalogers are now doing
  • Explains the approaches to organizing different formats of materials in libraries and accounts for the effects of RDA on current cataloging practices
Heather Lea Moulaison, PhD, is assistant professor at the iSchool at the University of Missouri in Columbia. She has been working and researching in Information Organization (IO) since 2002 when she first began professional work as a cataloging librarian. Since that time, she has taught cataloging in three countries on two continents and continues to explore research and instruction in IO topics such as metadata and organization in archives. Moulaison is the coeditor of a LITA book on cloud computing and coauthor of a book on digital preservation for the LAM community. Active in the library community, she was elected to ALA Council as a councilor-at-large for 2014–2017 and has also been elected internationally to the governing body of the Association Internationale Francophone des Bibliothécaires et Documentalistes (AIFBD), the international Francophone library association.

Raegan Wiechert, MLS, is assistant professor and cataloger at Missouri State University. A cataloging librarian with 10 years' experience, Wiechert has co-taught numerous sections of MSU's LIS 508/608 and 7312 Principles of Cataloging and Classification through the cooperative agreement with the University of Missouri's LIS program. Additionally, she has given countless seminars on RDA cataloging throughout the state of Missouri for the MOBIUS Consortium and serves as the chair of her cluster's Cataloging Committee. Nationally, Wiechert has done service for the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS)'s Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) and the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS); she also served on the ALCTS Task Force on Competencies & Education for a Career in Cataloging.


"This book is a good introduction to current standard cataloging and can serve as a handy supplement to whatever other learning opportunities are available."—Technicalities, January 12, 2017
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