UNIMARC and other IFLA standards– why do we pay attention to them
The IFLA standards are a criteria for excellence in the library and information science. Each individual standard reflects the main principles of its time as well as the best practice, which is transferred from the services and activities of IFLA members into the standard through IFLA’s professional units, special programmes and thematic work groups.
Development, maintenance and popularisation of UNIMARC were an important programme for IFLA for many years. However, technological obsolescence and the considerable complexity of the MARC formats, as well as the tendency to better incorporate the library catalogue into the semantic network shift the focus from the COMARC formats to other metadata schemes. But the UNIMARC format follows the activities in the so-called global bibliographic ecosystem. Coordination of the UNIMARC format with IFLA LRM is basically completed for the majority of entities, except for the manifestation of the work.
The IFLA UNIMARC Namespace project is intended for semantic recognisability of bibliographic data and their use in different contexts.
The UNIMARC is continuously changing, the same as other IFLA programmes. Coordinating these programmes, which provides the users with a consistent and unfragmented image of bibliographic control, is IFLA’s ongoing task.