While I understand Mr. Randall's desire to test the new cataloging rules, I
believe that he, and the others involved in RDA testing, should be aware
that their records are being used in a live database, and not a closed test
system. That being the case, they are being used by library cataloging
units populated by staffs with varying levels of cataloging knowledge and
In our library, for example, because of the volume of books passing
through, there is a copy cataloging unit that processes ELvl blank/I/4
records without checking or altering them, assuming that all information is
correct. They would not be able to tell that a name has been used that is
not authorized. Even librarians in our organization, since we are not an
RDA test site, are not aware of all differences between RDA and AACR2, so
we cannot simply "be aware of [RDA] and take whatever steps [we] need to
accommodate it" as Mr. Randall suggests.
I do not believe that using existing name authorities is somehow
undermining RDA, or making "hybrid records", as another person suggested.
In AACR2 we frequently use name forms that are in the authority file that
are not as we would have created. But we respect the integrity of name
authorities, and their vital importance in library recall. Recall is, I
believe, the point of cataloging, and what should always be considered of
primary importance, instead of quibbles about which rule sets are followed.
Deborah Tomaras, NACO Coordinator
Western European Languages Team
New York Public Library
Library Services Center
31-11 Thomson Ave.
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
[log in to unmask]
To: Deborah Tomaras/MHT/Nypl@NYPL
Date: 10/29/2010 11:55 AM
Subject: Fw: Using existing NARs
----- Forwarded by wsiemaszkiewicz/MHT/Nypl on 10/29/2010 11:54 AM -----
Re: Using existing NARs
Kevin M. Randall
Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]>
Please respond to Program for Cooperative Cataloging
While I understand Deborah Tomaras' concerns, I absolutely disagree with
suggestions to use already-established AACR2 forms of name in RDA records
for the test. While on the one hand the test does "undermine authority
control", not to use RDA forms of name in an RDA record would, on the other
hand, completely undermine the test. How are we to test the results of RDA
if the set of records aren't fully RDA?
Personally, I feel that the likely outcome next spring will be that RDA
*will* be implemented. It's not that I think the test is a sham, but just
that all of the factors involved will make it pretty much inevitable. The
value in the RDA test will be in finding out how well the guidelines work,
how well the new records play with others, what options are better than
others, and just overall what would be the best way to implement RDA. (And
I fear that implementation will be horribly costly, but I also fear that if
we don't make an effort toward the future that RDA is pointing
to--especially the RDA Vocabularies and linked data--then the cost will end
up being greater.) Once we know what's what, the authority records and
related bib records can be updated as necessary.
There has been a lot of publicity about the RDA test, so most library
cataloging units should be aware of it and take whatever steps they need to
accomodate it. That includes making adjustments as needed to RDA records
their own catalogs. This may be an inconvenience for a while. But at a
time when some people are decrying the lack of research into FRBR and other
things, it would be a shame not to take this opportunity to honestly test
Kevin M. Randall
Principal Serials Cataloger
Bibliographic Services Dept.
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-2300
email: [log in to unmask]
phone: (847) 491-2939
fax: (847) 491-4345
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]
> Behalf Of Deborah Tomaras
> Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 8:58 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Using existing NARs
> Ms. Kuhagen and others:
> I haven't seen any discussion about the wisdom of using RDA forms of
> 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
> 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
> not they personally create RDA records, would likely use RDA records into
> their databases when created by others, increasing authority
> 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
> 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
> been accepted by our copy cataloging unit without checking headings,
> leading to a conflict with our already existing records with the
> authorized/undated form.
> I have always assumed that our primary mission, as cataloging librarians,
> is to create a coherent, efficient and correct catalog for users to
> information in. If we undermine authority control, as is being done in
> RDA test, we are compromising one of cataloging's great strengths, what
> point to when asserting that library catalogs are "better than Google"
> searching and retrieval.
> Deborah Tomaras
> Librarian II
> Western European Languages Team
> New York Public Library
> Library Services Center
> 31-11 Thomson Ave.
> Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
> (917) 229-9561
> [log in to unmask]