On Fri, 4 Feb 2000, Rhoda Kesselman wrote:
> I would like to add to this discussion a point which I don't think
> has been mentioned yet: Once an authority record is in your local
> system, you can add whatever you like to suit the needs of your
> users, including 680 fields if they are supported there. There
> may be too much variation in the needs of local user groups
> to support adding these notes to national-level authority records.
> It may require some extra maintenance when these records are
> overwritten by updates, but perhaps local vendors can deal with
> that issue too.
> Rhoda Kesselman
> Firestone Library
> Princeton University
> Email: [log in to unmask]
> Phone: (609) 258-3251
> "Personal opinion only."
Rhoda makes a good point, but I respectfully disagree that local editing
is the answer to this issue, for several reasons:
1) She mentions working with vendors. From what I've seen and heard, the
kinds of functions needed for what we have been talking about are things
that will take more than a bit of tinkering on vendors' parts. Vendors
listen when large groups of users say the same thing, or when they are
dealing with a national standard (though some don't even do that for
things like suppression codes in cross-references).
2) Local editing runs counter to the notion of shared, cooperative
cataloging. Why should thousands of catalogers have to "kill off" Leonard
Bernstein in their catalogs, when one cataloger working with the national
record can do it in seconds? Again recognizing that Rhoda was expressing
a personal opinion, I note her institutional affiliation -- a library that
has made a very public point of its NACO participation, especially its
practice of creating authority records for every heading on every record.
Surely administrators at Princeton had to "buy in" to the benefits of
shared cataloging to support this level of NACO participation? Local
control can still be exercised at several levels -- whether or not to
support display of 680 fields, whether or not to accept updated authority
records whose only change is the addition of a 680 field, possibly whether
or not to have 680 be a protected field in overlays (but once again at the
mercy of vendors), etc.
As long as the problem of the "bibliographic undead" can be
characterized as a local problem in that only patrons of Library X seem
to be bothered by this, then a local solution is appropriate. The
discussion on this list and AUTOCAT suggests that the problem is more
widespread and thus calls for shared problem-solving.
Mark Scharff, Music Cataloger
Gaylord Music Library
Washington University in St. Louis
[log in to unmask]