While I understand Deborah Tomaras' concerns, I absolutely disagree with her
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 in
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
out RDA.

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 names
> 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 discrepancies
> 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 locate
> information in. If we undermine authority control, as is being done in
> RDA test, we are compromising one of cataloging's great strengths, what we
> point to when asserting that library catalogs are "better than Google" for
> 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]