On Monday, May 5, 2003, at 09:33  PM, Karen Coyle wrote:

> That's another thing that libraries do -- we assign unique names to
> authors and other "creators." This is part of the reason why the names
> in the library catalog sometimes look odd.

Oh, and on this, and just to make the issues I raise of relevance to
library people more directly:

Perhaps this way of labeling names accounts for the fact that online
library catalogs can be so difficult to search?  If I type "John Smith"
in my library catalog search engine, I imagine I get back a list of 40
names.  The names themselves rarely help me identify the specific "John
Smith" I need, though, and I regularly find myself clicking on links in
vain looking for the records I need.

On the other hand, if the additional metadata (birth dates, things like
"musical group," etc.) were instead separated out so they could be
displayed in separate results fields in a web browser, I imagine my
life would be made easier.