Outsourced Authority Control: Why isn’t this working?

Written by Ligia Groff on October 16, 2014. Posted in Blog

These are some common misconceptions as to why outsourced authority control may not be working:

1) Not sending all your records. Of course it is better to apply authority control to all records, so patrons can access the content they seek. This one is usually unavoidable due to budget constraints. For example, some libraries do not have permanent rights to some e-book resources. They can potentially drop out of their catalog at any time, so they don’t see the benefit of processing these records. Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword. Many of those records are patron driven, and if the patron can’t find it, it will remain unused and drop from the catalog.

2) Not sending your new bibliographic records for processing on a consistent basis. MARCIVE does not set up a pre-defined schedule for a customer to send new bibliographic records for upgrade. Each library has the option of sending whatever number of records (no minimum order) on whatever workflow is best for them. If we receive them by 3pm CST, you will receive the updated bibs and matching authority records to load into the system the very next business day. Over time, it causes a back-log of outdated headings if they are not sent on a consistent basis. Some libraries have created programs to automatically send the records to us, so the only staff time involved in workflow is the picking up and loading of the records.

3) Not signing up for our Notification service. This is a “biggie.” Library of Congress makes constant changes to authority records. MARCIVE receives about 100,000+ new or changed authority records per month. All of these records may not pertain to your library, but we keep track of that for you and bundle it in a monthly file for you to load via ftp. Keeping the authority file current also keeps your bibliographic access points current. Not naming names, but some libraries who have signed up for this service never retrieve their files. Sometimes this is due to changes in staffing and poor documentation by the staff member who left. A good reason to keep re-evaluating your in-house procedures!

4) Not notifying us of deleted authority records. This is another “biggie.” Libraries weed their collections and MARCIVE does not have a live feed into the catalog. If a library deletes a bib record that results in the last use of a particular heading, the library needs to send us the control number for that authority that no longer exists in the database as a delete.  We will then remove the control number from the library’s history file so updates to the heading are not sent.  If not, we could potentially give you an updated version of that same authority record the following month. This leads to blind headings. Please contact your MARCIVE Technical Representative if you need assistance setting this up.

We would love your feedback! Please leave a comment in the comments section. If this is regarding an individual libraries concern, please contact your Marketing Representative or the general contact page.
-written by Ligia Groff, MLS

The GMD–why keep it?

Written by Joan on October 10, 2014. Posted in Blog

In the development of RDA (Resource Access and Description), the GMD (General Material Designation) 245$h was removed in lieu of using the CMC (Content, Media, and Carrier) 3XX fields to describe the medium of the item in a more representative way.  This action was due in part to the explosion of e-resources and varying technology needed to access these resources.  This change caused quite a stir here in our office, as well as in many libraries across the nation.  We often get asked what to do with the GMD, and we are hesitant to provide a definitive answer, because the value of the GMD varies from library to library.

PCC Guidelines on Hybrid Bibliographic Records recommends that the GMD not be removed until March 31, 2016.  In compliance with that statement, OCLC plans to remove the GMD from all of its records at that time.  For that inevitable change, many libraries are asking us to delete the GMD when we conduct RDA conversion.  Another reason libraries are asking us to remove the GMD is because they have already upgraded to a next-generation system that currently uses the 3XX fields to generate the icons that determine the resource’s medium.  We also have the option to move the 245$h to another field.

Some libraries are asking us to keep the GMD because they have not upgraded systems, and the GMD is vital in determining the medium.  For these libraries, it may be impossible for the patron to determine what the resource is, and acquisitions and reference staff (among others) would have to open the each record to determine the medium, causing a lag in workflow.  Many libraries have also taken great care in generating their own, not-so-standard qualifiers for the GMD’s, for example [videorecording (DVD)].  Due to staff and patrons being so accustomed to locating their content using these qualifiers, they are hesitant to relinquish all that work if they are unsure of how the new records will interact in their system.  MARCIVE’s current processing does not alter these non-standard GMD’s. For the libraries that wish to retain their GMD, MARCIVE offers the option to simply retain the 245$h, or to create the GMD from the 3XX and other fixed and variable fields for a small one-time fee.  We do not have set pricing for generating customized GMD’s, but we are always open to evaluating data and criteria in order to better ascertain programming costs.

For quote for RDA conversion or other services please contact us.
-written by Ligia Groff, MLS

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