At the Authority Control IG presentation at ALA this summer, Ed Jones showed a slide of a German authority record that recorded a degree of personal information that was surprising to me. One of the basic functions of the authority record according to FRAD is to serve a "broader reference function," which can justify the compilation of a quite extensive dossier. I suppose for NACO this is partly anticipated by the new death date policy, which goes beyond disambiguation, but insofar as RDA adopts the FRAD principles it's something to think about. What are the limits to the amount of information we want to record in publicly available files? I hope authority work doesn't someday become an enabler for stalkers!
My paranoid opinion only.
Catalog Librarian for Training & Documentation
Catalog & Metadata Services, SML, Yale University
P.O. Box 208240 New Haven, CT 06520-8240
(203)432-8286 [log in to unmask]
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stephen Hearn
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Consulting the Collective wisdom (Levity)
When I send this kind of request, I do it from a work account with a
work signature, and I include the URL for the online LC Authority file.
Generally I've gotten good responses.
I have a different question. In our data security training, we've been
advised that full birth dates are secure information. I know from
talking to tech folks that birth dates can be very useful for gathering
information about a stranger's identity. Given that, should we be more
circumspect about requesting birth dates in a public file like LCNAF?
This is one more reason to look for a better, more neutral mechanism for
distinguishing personal name headings than just adding more personal
Whitsitt, Kathleen S wrote:
> This kind of touches on an issue I've been wondering about. I am just
> now learning how to make NARs as a Texas NACO Funnel participant. I
> have not approached any authors for personal information as yet. I'm
> very hesitant to do so, and don't have a clue as to the best approach.
> Do you just introduce yourself as a PCC cataloger, and explain the need
> for additional personal information in bibliographic databases? And do
> people understand what any of that means? Do catalogers usually consult
> with the legal departments of their institutions for policy
> clarifications on requesting personal information from people this way?
> Personally, I would be very wary of anyone calling or emailing me for
> personal information, if I didn't fully understand why it was needed.
> It would be good to hear any guidelines or advise about that.
> Kathleen Whitsitt
> Authority Control Librarian
> Automated Library Services
> Lone Star College System
> 5000 Research Forest Drive
> The Woodlands, Texas 77381-4356
> 832.813.6614 (fax)
> [log in to unmask]
Authority Control Coordinator/Head, Database Management Section
Technical Services, University Libraries, University of Minnesota
160 Wilson Library
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Ph: 612-625-2328 / Fax: 612-625-3428