Ms. Kuhagen and others:
I haven't seen any discussion about the wisdom of using RDA forms of names
in bibliographic records, when there is an already established AACR2
authority record. It seems to me that this would cause tremendous
international problems in all existing library databases.
If a record is coded PCC or has ELvl blank/4/I, copy cataloging units would
accept this record as is, assuming all authority work to be done, thus
creating errors in the catalog. And all libraries in the future, whether or
not they personally create RDA records, would likely use RDA records into
their databases when created by others, increasing authority discrepancies
in their catalogs.
For example, in OCLC #670738890 (coded ELvl blank and 042 PCC), Antoni
Gasiorowski, who has an authority record without a date, is instead entered
in an unauthorized form with a date, and left uncontrolled as if there is
no heading already existing in the authority file. Locally, this would have
been accepted by our copy cataloging unit without checking headings,
leading to a conflict with our already existing records with the
I have always assumed that our primary mission, as cataloging librarians,
is to create a coherent, efficient and correct catalog for users to locate
information in. If we undermine authority control, as is being done in this
RDA test, we are compromising one of cataloging's great strengths, what we
point to when asserting that library catalogs are "better than Google" for
searching and retrieval.
Western European Languages Team
New York Public Library
Library Services Center
31-11 Thomson Ave.
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
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