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It is a fair question, Mary Jane.  For you and for many libraries, the file maintenance is not a burden.  Some systems would handle it entirely in the background with no intervention by staff.  However, there are libraries where file maintenance is a much bigger deal.  For some libraries, this change would have to be done by hand.

 

In general, a single change is not much work for one library.  But we have to remember that every AAP change we make incurs file maintenance for tens of thousands of libraries.  So we have to strike a balance between creating the best records and creating unnecessary work.

 

Ultimately, the decision on where to set the dividing line between necessary and unnecessary changes is somewhat arbitrary.  To build consistency and make the decision easy, PCC has established policy.  They could have decided to make the dividing line elsewhere; indeed, under old policy, even adding death dates to existing birth dates was often considered excessive file maintenance.  The policy may change again in the future, and under a linked data scheme it may be unnecessary to construct AAPs at all.  But for now, the policy is that we should not add birth dates to an established heading unless it is also necessary to make another change to the heading.

 

                                                            Steve McDonald

                                                            Cataloging and Metadata Librarian

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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cuneo, Mary Jane
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2016 7:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Authority updates and BFM

 

I’ll get in trouble for saying this, but so what?  The file maintenance is not an unbearable burden.

 

Hi Charles,

Not unbearable, but a great pain in the rear, & time that could be spent doing more useful things.  (From someone who, with colleagues, gets a report every month and slogs through it).

 

Mary Jane Cuneo

Senior Serials Cataloger & NACO coordinator

Harvard Library

 

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Herrold, Charles
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2016 11:47 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Authority updates and BFM

 

    I’ll get in trouble for saying this, but so what?  The file maintenance is not an unbearable burden.

    However, before anyone goes off the rails, I will also say that John is right, of course, as the name is unique and doesn’t need dates.  The only serious objection I have is that, incredibly, LC provided no justification in the record for the death date:

 

010  n  84216417

040  DLC ǂb eng ǂe rda ǂc DLC ǂd DLC

046  ǂf 1917-02-06 ǂg 2016-12-18

1001 Gabor, Zsa Zsa, ǂd 1917-2016

370  Budapest (Hungary) ǂb Los Angeles (Calif.) ǂ2 naf

374  Actors ǂa Socialites ǂ2 lcsh

375  female

4001 Gábor, Sári, ǂd 1917-2016

4001 Gábor, Zsa Zsa ǂw nne

670  Such devoted sisters, 1985: ǂb CIP galley (Zsa Zsa Gábor)

670  Filmgoers companion, 1977 ǂb (Zsa Zsa Gábor; b. 1919 [sic])

670  LC data base, 9/10/84 ǂb (hdg.: Gábor, Zsa Zsa)

670  IMDb, May 9, 2008 ǂb (Zsa Zsa Gabor; b. Feb. 6, 1917, Budapest, Austria-Hungary; birth name: Sári Gábor; unclear as to Zsa Zsa's birth date)

 

      Maybe the LC cataloger should just add that essential information and remove the dates from the access points.

 

Chuck Herrold

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

 

 

 

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Hostage
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2016 11:32 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] Authority updates and BFM

 

Zsa Zsa Gabor was laid to rest in the authority file last night.  The access point that previously had no dates now has birth and death dates.  Why?

 

------------------------------------------

John Hostage

Senior Continuing Resources Cataloger

Harvard Library--Information and Technical Services

Langdell Hall 194

Harvard Law School Library

Cambridge, MA 02138

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