I process monthly reports of changes to NARs that we have in our catalog.  There is an astounding number of them every month, and that's just counting changes to 1XX fields.  Even now there are records where dates or other additions have been added to a heading where there is no apparent conflict.  This causes additional work for manual updates in our catalog.  Trying to differentiate all the headings in OCLC would probably lead to a large increase in such changes.  That's not something we'd like to see.

Also, I don't think anyone believes any library really has the time and resources for such an undertaking.

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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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Ian Fairclough [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 08:17
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] resolving conflicts in WorldCat while doing NACO work

PCCLIST readers,

Thanks to those who've responded, and apologies to Richard Noble and Richard Moore for my mistake with the surname.  That's what can happen when you write an email in a hurry.   I only did so (1) because I had a bus to catch, and have been gone from my desk since; and (2) out of a concern that my concern would get no further attention if I didn't.  In the event, instead of keeping things on track, I contributed to diverting the discussion.  I doubt that any of our readers is unaware that attending to quality control issues, whether in the NACO database, WorldCat, or elsewhere, is costly, sometimes prohibitively so.

What I really wanted is to allow NACO contributors who would attend to disambiguation to do so wherever appropriate, and not be prohibited by what appears to be a restriction to a conflict that occurs between NACO records.  I'd like our instructions to permit resolution of a conflict whether among NACO records or elsewhere (such as WorldCat).  I didn't intend to have a requirement imposed on all NACO participants, and I have no expectation that such a practice would be widely adopted.  I'd guess that only a handful of people would actually do such work.  But please, even if just a few people are concerned to resolve such conflicts, let's make an adjustment so that the instructions don't prohibit them from doing so.

Some respondents appeared to indicate a sympathy with this idea, even if they themselves would not do the work.  Would those responsible for NACO policy and practice kindly consider it further!

Sincerely - Ian

Ian Fairclough
Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian
George Mason University
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