Chuck Herrold wrote:
> This question is not intended to be confrontational, but I have to ask:
> Is the 678 field going to be expected on Day One, or is it optional? Two
> related things come to mind: first, the information therein is largely
> derived from 670 fields, and it seems like a possible waste of time to
> rephrase that data, though I understand the purpose would be for public
> display; second, some OPACs do not display authority records, and
> therefore public display of this field is not an option.
> I've seen RDA authority records (or AACR2 records with added RDA
> elements, of course) that look like miniature biographies. All well and
> good, but I wonder how many minutes (or hours?) it were required to
> prepare some of these voluminous records. A fundamental purpose of
> ARs, as I understand it, at least in the current pre-RDA era, is to precisely
> identify and disambiguate, and the new approach goes far beyond what
> is necessary to accomplish that goal.
Although I think they are *most* of the time unnecessary for the purposes of the authority file, I was always bothered by the "less is more" dictate in NACO that resulted in the removal of information and the injunction against using 678 fields. There have been several times when I felt such information was very important and the catalog user would have been helped greatly by an explanation in a 678 field to guide them to the appropriate heading for their research needs. It's good to know they're able to be used again.
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