University of Georgia Law Library
Type of Library: Academic Law
Project Coordinator: Suzanne R. Graham, Cataloging Services Librarian
Address: 225 Herty Drive, Athens, GA 30602-6018
E-Mail: [email protected]
Problem(s) To Be Solved:
- No on-going authority control for our records in place
- Large load of poorly-described vendor records added
- Wanted to offer fuller access to GPO and federal depository documents
- Authorities Processing History File Creation
- Backfile Processing (ECCO file of 136,000 records)
- Authorities Notification Service, Overnight Authorities Service, NewMatch
- Documents Without Shelves (Law Library Subset)
- FDLP Pilot Project and then Cataloging Record Distribution Project
As the oldest and largest public law library in the state, the Alexander Campbell King Law Library at the University of Georgia has a rich, established collection of over 600,000 volumes. We are dedicated to providing anytime/anywhere access to information and we utilize new technologies to deliver that information.
Our catalog is heavily used, both in-house and remotely; however, consistency of the data was a problem. We hadn’t been reviewing our headings. The staff worked to verify the headings at the time of export, but we didn’t have a follow-up process to track or automate changes to headings.
In 2007, we investigated three vendors and had two deciding factors: we wanted to process updates to existing records monthly, not quarterly, and we wanted to consolidate several services under one vendor when possible. Other vendors would run the file monthly, but they levied an additional cost each time making it cost prohibitive. MARCIVE runs updates to the existing file as part of ongoing authority processing. Also, our library already wanted to purchase Documents without Shelves; it made sense to forge a relationship with one vendor for both. My interactions with the staff at MARCIVE also validated why all the libraries I’ve worked for use MARCIVE.
Initially, all our current records went to MARCIVE to create a backfile and get us up-to-date authority records and name/subject headings. Now, each month we send MARCIVE all of our newly added records for review.
The monthly processing report really gives me a great deal of confidence in the quality of records that we are adding and the effectiveness of our cataloging staff. I skim the headings that couldn’t be matched for locally-important headings. We recently asked MARCIVE to add a 4XX for all old/replaced 1XX headings to take advantage of automated matching in Innovative Millennium. The combination really reduces the weight of major changes, like when one of our prolific international scholars, Alan Watson, recently had a birth year added to his record.
The library staff is happy to take for granted that all the headings are correct and properly disambiguated. Our favorite analogy is that cataloging is the offensive line of our team and the authority control is the cleats on our feet. Nothing glamorous but everyone would feel the pain if our footing wasn’t so solid.
Regarding the addition of US federal electronic documents to our catalog, it’s great to have so many high-quality Documents without Shelves records to help users find GPO resources easily.
The Federal Depository Library Program Pilot Project really has opened up our microfiche collection in particular. These titles were neglected, but in short order we have more than 300 titles fully cataloged and added to our catalog relatively effortlessly.