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I'd like to add that as a person who frequently creates NACO records for
old or obscure materials, having more information in existing authority
records is helpful and makes my job more efficient. Many of the identities
I need to make headings for don't have Wikipedia entries or are not
included in common databases or reference sources. I try to provide as much
information as I can in the authority records I create with the hope that
it will help others in the future. I understand if some institutions can't
afford to be this thorough; my institution values this contribution to the
global database and considers it time well spent.


On Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 2:07 PM, Kevin M Randall <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> John Marr wrote:
>
> >   First, is the creation of such data a cataloging task (providing access
> > to cataloged books, etc.) or an entirely new task (creating an
> > encyclopedia comprised of data unnecessary to cataloging)?
> >
> >   2nd, if the latter, isn't the task redundant in comparison to other
> more
> > complete databases already available (e.g. Wikipedia, and the Internet in
> > general)?
> >
> >   While RDA may be seen to save cataloging jobs if administrators agree
> > to
> > fund the encyclopedia-creation process (in addition to cataloging?), it
> > may also eliminate them as a result of chopped budgets, increased costs
> > (cataloging time), and perceived redundancy.
> >
> >   Perhaps some of these issues were not thoroughly evaluated by the
> > developers of RDA. It would be interesting to discuss possible reasons
> why
> > this may have been the case.
>
> The data serve the purpose of identification and differentiation.  RDA
> requires the data *only* when it is needed for one of those purposes, and
> allows the cataloger (or cataloging agency) to decide where to record the
> data (either as a separate element, or in the access point, or both).  If
> there are negative consequences based on the decision of a cataloging
> agency to apply an "encylopedia creation" policy, those consequences are
> fully the responsibility of that cataloging agency; the developers of RDA
> have no part in that at all.
>
> Every single element in RDA arises from a genuine "real life" need for
> such data in some context.  That doesn't mean *all* contexts must also
> include the data.  RDA defines elements so they're available when we need
> them.  If we end up shooting ourselves in the foot by supplying them more
> than we need to, that's our own fault, not RDA's.  RDA is very conservative
> in regard to core elements!
>
> In defense of those who opt for more data instead of less, the point isn't
> "encyclopedia creation"; it's supplying data that--as time goes by--helps
> to further identify and differentiate the entity and to enable/refine
> automated data linkages.
>
> Kevin M. Randall
> Principal Serials Cataloger
> Northwestern University Library
> [log in to unmask]
> (847) 491-2939
>
> Proudly wearing the sensible shoes since 1978!
>



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Christine DeZelar-Tiedman
Manager, Archives and Special Collections Metadata Unit
University of Minnesota Libraries
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