John Riemer has a short but I think compelling piece in this month's issue of Technicalities about the major questions facing authority control practice. It's a useful way into the issues raised by several of the main items in the new PCC strategic plan, including the use of non-LC name authorities and the broadening of participation in name authority work. It also helps provide further context for the important discussion we’ve been having here about identifiers in MARC records. I hope people will read it and respond with their thoughts.


The online version may not be widely available yet, so Technicalities editor Peggy Johnson has kindly agreed to allow the article to be excerpted and circulated to this list (see attachment).


The article draws partly on the work of the recently discharged PCC Advisory Committee on Initiatives that John chaired (full disclosure: I was also a member). Its report on name authorities is now available here:





​Chew Chiat Naun
Director, Cataloging & Metadata Services
110D Olin Library
Cornell University
607 254 8031