At 07:09 AM 10/27/2006, Joseph, Angelina wrote:
>If somebody knows the dob of the author and has the time to add
>it to the authority record, why don't we let that person do that
>by changing the rule a little so that it can be done. If a conflict
>arises later, there will be less work at that time.

Since you ask:

Changing the non-embarrassing heading simply because more information 
is available--i.e., in the absence of a conflict--means that everyone 
else who uses the shared authority file has to do heading 
maintenance, too.  The side-effects of the change aren't limited to a 
single catalog.

Here are some recent examples: in LC names issue 2006/42, the heading 
"Silva, Eduardo da" was changed to "Silva, Eduardo da, 1948-" 
although there is no evidence in the authority file that there was a 
problem to be solved.  (The changing institution also didn't think it 
was important enough to change the associated name/title heading.) In 
2006/41 "Godo, Yoshihisa" changed to "Godo, Yoshihisa, 1962-" without 
evidence of a conflict.  What, exactly, is the good that's being 
served by these changes?

Contrast these with the change in 2006/42 from "Rose, Thomas" to 
"Rose, Thomas, 1959-", which had to be changed to make way for a new 
"Rose, Thomas" for whom no date or other distinguishing information 
was available.

Now, if the "old" heading contains one date, in my own case there is 
actually no problem because with our authority loader (only works for 
Voyager, sadly) when a personal name with subfield $d changes to 
another personal name with subfield $d the batch change happens 
without any operator intervention. But if a personal name with no 
date changes, except in certain limited circumstances (the details 
would obscure my point) the change must come under operator 
review.  I assume that a similar degree of operator review is 
required at other institutions.  All this involves cost; and if it's 
a cost without visible benefit, it's a cost we don't need to bear.

Gary L. Strawn, Authorities Librarian, etc.
Northwestern University, 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston IL 60208-2300
e-mail: [log in to unmask]   voice: 847/491-2788   fax: 847/491-8306
Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.