Vendor Interview -- BiblioMondo

Our third vendor interview comes from BiblioMondo, a Canadian software development company whose product list includes the PortFolio and Concerto ILSs. Guillaume Freyburger, Vice-President of Strategies and Technologies, answered our questions.

Question 1: Is your cataloging system current with MARC 21 updates 9, 10, and 11, which made changes to MARC to accommodate RDA? If not, do you plan to update, and do you have a timeline for updating? Have you made the changes for both bibliographic and authority records?

GF: Yes, BiblioMondo’s two ILS systems, PortFolio and Concerto, support the recent updates of MARC 21. Additionally, we have made changes for both the bibliographic and authority records.

Question 2: Are your system's displays (public facing and admin) capable of displaying the new RDA fields added to MARC? Are any future changes planned? If so, can you share a timeline?

GF: The staff modules of Concerto and PortFolio along with BiblioMondo’s two OPACs, Zones and InNetMedia, support the display of the new RDA fields. Although we are planning additional developments to enhance the display and accessibility of the new RDA fields, we currently do not have a defined timeline.

Question 3: Please describe your system's search interface (including its indexing, filtering, and faceting functions), and how it handles the new RDA fields. Are any future changes planned? If so, can you share a timeline?

GF: Both of BiblioMondo’s OPACs are able to incorporate the new RDA fields into the indexing, filtering and faceting functions. The search interface is in continuous evolution consistently being enhanced by our team of developers. We are currently looking at new ways to represent and make use of the four RDA levels to improve the search and navigation experiences for the users. We currently do not have a defined timeline.

Question 4: Does your system support cataloging in encodings other than MARC? If so, have you made any changes to these encodings in order to support RDA? Are any future changes planned? If so, can you share a timeline?

GF: BiblioMondo’s two ILS systems support cataloging in encodings other than MARC. Concerto supports PICA and MAB while PortFolio supports UNIMARC. In anticipation of future changes, we are participating in several committees in France, including ones formed by the National Library of France, CFU and FULBI. These groups are currently deciding if they will adopt RDA and what their RDA will look like. We are waiting for their final decision in order to decide how those changes will be merged into our products. We currently do not have a defined timeline.

Question 5: Libraries are likely to be in a mixed records environment for some time. Do you have any plans to discontinue support to AACR2 records in the foreseeable future?

GF: We do not plan to discontinue support of AACR2 records in our ILS, and BiblioMondo clients will be able to mix those records.

Question 6: Do you have any display, search, or other concerns about using your system in a mixed record environment where AACR2 and RDA records are co-mingled in the catalog?

GF: We do not have any concerns about mixing both AACR2 and RDA records in our PortFolio/Concerto solutions. The BiblioMondo customers can chose the fields they would like integrated into their index and display. Therefore they are able to decide if they would like to mix those records in the query interfaces.

Question 7: RDA has an increased focus on record-to-record relationships based on FRBR and adopted the Work-Expression-Manifestation-Item structure. Does your system currently take advantage of this new data and structure to improve the user experience in any way? Are any future user experience improvements based on this data planned? If so, can you share a timeline?

GF: At the moment, BiblioMondo does not fully support the FRBR structure. It is possible to describe the data in the four layers, but additional developments are needed to fully use the advantages of this structure. We plan to redesign some authority control parts and make some enhancements in our Zones and InNetMedia OPACs to fully use the power of this structure. We plan to start installing this version in early 2012.

Question 8:Some have said that the benefits of RDA cannot be fully realized while MARC remains the dominant encoding standard. If RDA is adopted, how viable do you think MARC will be going forward? What sort of issues would a move away from MARC raise for your product(s)?

GF: We believe that MARC will continue to be used for a long time even if RDA is adopted as the dominant encoding standard. Some countries are just currently making the move to MARC and will not finish those conversions quickly. Some librarians may also choose to retain their current format if they do not have necessary resources to support the migration. BiblioMondo will continue to support both formats, RDA and MARC, as long as we have requests for it.