Posts Tagged ‘Authority Control; Authorities Processing; Notification; Overnight Authorities: Ongoing Authority Control; Vendor Authorities Processing’

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 Over time, it causes a back-log of outdated headings if they are not sent on a consistent basis.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

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