Without looking, I’m sure one of the canonical 667 examples has been “Change heading if name [so-and-so] continues to be used” (I think it is, or was, under LC practice in Z1). Which seems to be the kind of note we are talking about. Z1 also currently has “Reinvestigate before using again”.
I don’t recollect any discouragement of helpful notes like this. We’ve also created notes to explain that an author does not wish his date of birth to be revealed, or added to a heading.
Oddly, the old NACO Participants’ Manual (3rd ed.) describes the use of “Not the same as” and “Cannot identify with” notes as “A past practice that should be used sparingly, if at all” (p. 64), whereas I think those are the paradigm cases that have been used most of all. Anything that will help a cataloguer and save future work would seem to be useful.
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I have sometimes used 667 in this way & didn’t realize the practice had been discouraged.
Thinking why it might be discouraged: maybe to avoid multiple 667s building up like little conversations in the records? (which could happen, though I’ve never seen it—we proceed to this List or email instead); or to encourage people to be confident about (rather than feel they need to defend) their decisions? Most of the time I think confidence is the best approach, knowing that colleagues will give us the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. However there are times when with a brief 667 explanation we really can spare each other some re-thinking, speculating, investigation of time-stamps, etc. In those cases it is a very helpful option.
Mary Jane Cuneo
Serials cataloging and NACO
Information and Technical Services
I'd be all for freeing up the 667 to be used at cataloger's discretion (i.e., stop discouraging it). Just like Wikipedia has a field for free text explanation of modifications made to a page, catalogers should be encouraged to annotate a NACO record when choices made in establishing/revising access points aren't easily deduced.
Kevin M. Randall
Principal Serials Cataloger
Northwestern University Libraries
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