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Bibliographic Standards in South Africa (BibSA) is one of the three projects belonging to the programme: Bibliographic Services. This programme is a core Programme at the National Library of South Africa, due to its unique functions regarding national bibliographic control activities in the country.

BibSA is not one of the traditional sections of the National Library, but its existence is the result of re-engineering that occurred at the library during the past number of years. This project is involved with providing a national infrastructure for the application, distribution and introduction of a variety of national and international standards regarding bibliographic control, continuing professional development of cataloguers, information and documentation. Infrastructure refers to a network of forums where:

  • decisions about standards are taken;

  • discussions about the development and impact of standards take place;
  • professional development/learning is being facilitated;

  • products and services are developed for adherence to standards.

As a consequence of its daily activities, BibSA liaises with a variety of national and international bodies regarding standards and bibliographic control: SABS and ISO; the South African cataloguing librarian community and LIASA; SAQA; IFLA’s Sections for Cataloguing, and Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning; Network Development and MARC Standards Office, and Name Authority COoperative (Library of Congress); Sabinet and OCLC; International ISBN Agency, International ISSN Centre and International ISMN Agency and the South African publishing community.

You will find BibSA traces in the following: teleMARC and MARC 21 courses; authoritative forms for South African author names and series; international cataloguing decisions taken during a series of IFLA Meetings of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code, of which the 5th Meeting was hosted by the National Library in 2007, preparations for RDA training of cataloguers in its succession of the cataloguing rule book, AACR; contributions to the development of information and documentation standards, such as ISO and SANS 2108 - International Standard Book Number; allocation of ISBNs, ISSNs and ISMNs to South African publishers via the existence of the ISN Agency.