A pet worry of mine, Bob. Here at UH all theses pass by the two original catalogers to supply subject headings. The rest of the cataloging is done by copy catalogers. We catalog around 500 titles a year.
The theses are not required to have vitas (and never do, as far as I know, unfortunately). We two catalogers might bother to check to see if the author conflicts (either in our catalog or in the authority file), or might not. In my case, again, I might or might not try to find out a birth date by contacting the dean’s office of the college. It is very time consuming for everybody concerned, so we are inconsistent in breaking conflicts. I have not bothered to go beyond that to try to contact the students themselves, but it probably wouldn’t be necessary, since the deans’ offices should always have the necessary information. The secretaries in those offices are sometimes difficult to reach, or have respond to an email or phone call. If I do reach them, they are usually cooperative, but I feel that it is a bother to them.
I have thought of other possible solutions, but have not pursued them:
1. Have another staff member in the library, who is empowered to view student records (for purpose of fines, stops on records, etc.) do the searching for us. This would entail that person’s willingness, and that person’s supervisor’s willingness as well, for that time to be spent on a task of litle importance to their work.
2. Get permission for the catalogers to have access to those same records. I have not inquired and think the administrative powers might not be willing to give us that permission. Again, it would be of little importance to them, and we would, I assume, have access to other, sensitive information about the students.
Manager of Cataloging Services
University of Houston Libraries
Houston, TX 77204-2000
phone: 713 743 9687
fax: 713 743 9748
email: [log in to unmask]
Are there any theses catalogers on this list? I ask, as I have a question regarding birthdates. Do you add birthdates to name hdgs. for theses?
--Where do you get said information (via Registrar's office?, Vita?, CV fact sheet etc.)?
--Do you routinely add them, or do you just use them to break a conflict?
--Are there issues you confront from authors if they see this information in FirstSearch, public catalog &/or the Web? How do you handle such issues?
Thanking you in advance for your time.
Robert C.W. Hall, Jr.
Technical Services Associate Librarian
Concord Free Public Library, Concord, MA 01742
978-318-3343 -- FAX: 978-318-3344 -- http://www.concordlibrary.org/
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