Transition away from MARC?

A recent announcement by the Library of Congress (LC) has provided more details about its intent to steer away from MARC format and begin investigation into its replacement. MARC has been the format for bibliographic and authority record exchange for nearly 40 years. Because of that the format lacks the ability to accommodate fully the features planned for RDA.

The Working Group of the Future of Bibliographic Control wrote in their report:

“Recognizing that Z39.2/MARC are no longer fit for the purpose, work with the library and other interested communities to specify and implement a carrier for bibliographic information that is capable of representing the full range of data of interest to libraries, and of facilitating the exchange of such data both within the library community and with related communities.”

MARC format has been in use for over 40 years. Almost all ILS and other vendors, as well as libraries, are set to interpret and handle MARC data. It is ubiquitous in the library world so any change will be far reaching and have a lot of impact. Backstage is very interested and plans to be an important part of the process in the direction LC takes in regards to a MARC replacement.

Read the Library of Congress posting here:

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