Vendor Interview -- TLC

Our latest interview is with The Library Corporation, or TLC, producers of the ILS products Carl.X and Library.Solution.

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?

TLC: Yes, TLC’s cataloging modules are current on MARC 21 updates.

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?

TLC: Yes, all of TLC’s catalogs are capable of displaying the new RDA fields.

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?

TLC: The Library.Solution OPAC product provides indexing by fields. The CARL•X product indexes each word in the MARC record. The LS2 PAC has a facetted interface, and there are future changes planned to include the RDA fields in these facets.

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?

TLC: Our cataloging products currently support MARC encoding standards only. As noted by the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee and the library community at large, there are some reservations about whether the benefits of RDA can be fully realized in a MARC environment. We will continue to monitor industry standards closely and adapt to meet our customer’s needs.

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?

TLC: No. TLC has no plans to discontinue supporting AACR2 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?

TLC: TLC has some concerns, including the discontinuation of the general material designation (GMD) in the 245 and changes to authority-controlled headings, as these will be the most obvious disparities between record types to library customers.

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?

TLC: TLC does not currently have an interface built on the FRBR model, but we see promise in its ability to enhance the user experience by providing better relationships between items. To that end, we are working to take advantage of this new data and structure. With TLC’s commitment to providing exceptional cataloging products and expertise, we will continue to maintain in-depth understanding of RDA and FRBR developments and practices.

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)?

TLC: TLC shares many of the same concerns about RDA outlined in the Reports and Recommendations of the U.S. RDA Test Coordinating Committee Executive Summary, published June 11, 2011; particularly as it relates to MARC-based RDA’s flexibility, ease of sharing and support of linked data. As both an ILS and a bibliographic record vendor, we are committed to supporting our customers with records in the formats that meet their needs. TLC will be fully engaged in accommodating emerging metadata frameworks. As always, we will look for opportunities to use new data elements and infrastructures to provide more informative and inventive OPAC interfaces to meet our library customer needs.