Why we RDAize records

Why we RDAize records

Garbage in, garbage out. It’s a phrase many of us may be familiar with. But for the Data Services, Implementation, and Client Services teams at TLC, it’s a phrase that characterizes some of the larger hurdles they’ve encountered with a library’s implementation and ongoing support. Data. Specifically, bad data. Incorrect characters, missing fields, and outdated formatting have caused some pretty big problems for customers over the years and some of our team’s most time-consuming challenges.

When LibrarySolution™ made the generational jump from versions 4.x to 5.x, TLC created utilities and enhanced existing processes to better address the “bad data” issue during the database build process. This led to the invention of the Purify process and the incorporation of RDAExpress™ into the build process. However, building a database is not the only time when records are added to a database. What happens to the records that are imported, merged, and searched for on a day-to-day basis? LS2 Cataloging  addresses every record as they are added, regardless of the timing.

The Purify process contains two parts: “pre-rinse” and “scrub,” which occur during the implementation of a LibrarySolution™ 5.x database and every time a title record is saved to the database after implementation. 

“Pre-rinse” looks at a number of structural components in the MARC record, such as fields, subfields, leaders, and control numbers. This is a step that focuses on a record’s structure, not its content.

The “scrub” step focuses on content enrichment of certain fields. An example of this would be genre consolidation. More details on both of these proprietary steps are provided to the customer during the implementation or upgrade process.

TLC identified the fields and missing characters that were the consistent culprits in registering as errors while building a database. The fields and characteristics that are addressed during the purify process were identified by product management, subject matter experts, and data analysts after an extensive audit of the implementation process.

RDA-ification via RDAExpress™ is a process separate from Purify, which is also applied to every record that is added to the LibrarySolution™ database.

RDAExpress™ adds up to 20 fields, depending on format. RDA standards provide controlled terms for information previously found only in fixed and notes fields. RDAExpress™ inputs these controlled terms in the “characteristics fields” (34x, 38x), enhancing consistency for search and discovery in library catalogs. RDAExpress™ adds additional enriched content such as MPAA ratings and video game ratings. RDAExpress™ adds relator terms to name fields for greater discovery.

It’s important to reiterate that these processes are not only at the database building level (upgrading from versions 4.x to 5.x or a new LibrarySolution™ implementation) but EVERY time a record is added and saved to the database — every imported record brought into a TitleSpace.

For more information on implementing LibrarySolution™, upgrading from version 4.x to 5.x or having RDAExpress™ clean up your data, please visit https://tlcdelivers.sg/ or call 800.325.7759.

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Justin Larsen Larsen