Adam, I'm glad that UW is doing this, and I also believe it is a service to the community.   I do it myself, but not consistently, and I don't think I could convince the head of my department for us to have a policy like UWs.   We pay about $20,000 a year to have authority control done to our catalog, and our catalogers are continually pressed to save time in traditional cataloging to prepare for more work with digital collections.   

For years, OCLC did not allow updating of records that the library doing the work did not own.   I think that it is safe to assume that most libraries do catalog maintenance in their own catalogs without going back to OCLC (or doing so only in exceptional cases).    I think that PCC should be more involved in maintenance of the OCLC database, but we'd be starting from a long history of neglect.


-----Original Message-----
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Adam L. Schiff
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2012 8:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Non-RDA heading in NAR

Amy wrote,

> 1.  Too many changes can sabotage the main purpose of authority 
> control, consistency in headings on bibliographical records.  Yes, 
> automated file maintenance SHOULD make this all easy, but the 
> technology is not perfect.  OCLC in particular has many headings that 
> don't match the LCAF.  Their mechanism of "controlling" headings 
> depends largely on one-at-a-time action by catalogers.  When we change 
> an authority record, we leave behind many uncontrolled headings in OCLC.

Here at UW we have a policy that when catalogers create a new heading or revise an existing one, they go into OCLC to change and control all relevant headings in bibs, even on bibs that we don't have holdings on. 
We only do this for records coded as following AACR2/RDA/pre-AACR2, so that records from other countries created according to other standards are not affected.  If there are too many to be worth doing this by hand (roughly more than 10 records), catalogers send OCLC an error report to ask them to bring the headings in alignment with the authority record. 
We have viewed this as both a service to the community and as a necessity, since OCLC WorldCat has been our primary discovery tool for our patrons for a number of years, and as such the entire OCLC database was in a way our catalog.

* Adam L. Schiff                     * 
* Principal Cataloger                *
* University of Washington Libraries *
* Box 352900                         *
* Seattle, WA 98195-2900             *
* (206) 543-8409                     * 
* (206) 685-8782 fax                 *
* [log in to unmask]           *