My experience is just the opposite, we have a very large number of patrons, especially in the science and literature disciplines who use series and who would find not tracing them a lack of service.  The other part of this is when we don’t control series we cannot class them together as effectively.  I know some professors who know the call number of a series and go right to it to find new volumes.  They always let me know when the series is not in the right place.  This also has critical implications for our acquisitions and serial staff.  Without series control they will have a harder time knowing what portions of a subscription we have.   I think series are more used then anyone would ever imagine.


Rachel Wadham


Rachel L. Wadham

Name Authorities Librarian/NACO Coordinator

[log in to unmask]

6736 Harold B. Lee Library

Brigham Young University

Provo, Utah 84602

(801) 422-6780

Fax: (801)422-0468

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Amy H Turner
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2006 8:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: LC's series announcement


As could easily have been predicted, there is a lot of concern about LC’s recent decision to stop providing authority control for series. Pat Williams asks whether LC will withdraw from PCC and code its records as minimal level. IMHO, it would be much better for PCC to follow LC and our British colleagues in considering series statements to be description rather than controlled access.

Though I am committed to authority control for names and subjects, I believe that controlled access for series is something that we can give up without the public as a whole ever noticing. As anecdotal evidence, I queried several well-educated library patrons about their use of series tracings, which turned out to be non-existant. A Ph.D. in math asked, “What’s a series?” I gave the example of Lecture Notes in Mathematics, which he recognized, but couldn’t imagine using as a search. This, as I said, is anecdotal evidence, but others of you can gather more of the same.  Or just think of your own use of the catalog before you became a cataloger, or of how new catalogers have to learn what a series tracing is, and that it is under authority control.

Cataloging policy has grown out of tradition, without input from users, who are now voting with their mouse clicks for Google-like access. I believe that authority control can enhance this sort of access, but that it will be a different, streamlined type of authority control, and need not include series.

Amy Turner
Monographic Cataloger and Authority Control/PCC Coordinator
Duke University Libraries, Durham NC