Re: Authority work - is it still necessary? Leibowitz, Faye R 29 Jul 2014 13:31 UTC

I think that authority work is still needed and desired by many library (and general internet) users, but as Steve mentioned, it will be "non-traditional."

For example, last week I attended a webinar about ORCID and ISNI . These are forms of authority control that extend beyond the local catalog. With ORCID, we are seeing the effect of social networking-- ORCID identifiers are contributed by individual researchers (to insure that they can be identified properly) rather than by librarians or other "experts." We are seeing the "democratization" of authority control. So I think that authority control, just as so many other aspects of cataloging, is being transformed to fit into the new socially-connected semantic web environment.

Best wishes,

Faye Leibowitz
General Languages Catalog Librarian
Catalog Management Unit
University Library System
University of Pittsburgh

-----Original Message-----


Date:    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:44:02 +0000
From:    Steve Oberg <steve.oberg@WHEATON.EDU>
Subject: Re: Authority work - is it still necessary?


I am not so sure that traditional authority control is really that necessary, particularly if it is viewed as in the context of a local online catalog only. We use a discovery layer as our primary catalog. It has many shortcomings and I see it as, at best, a mixed benefit for our users. But it does lessen the primacy of a local online catalog and all that pertains to it, as least as for as our users are concerned.

This comment doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in the general principle and work of authority control. Rather, it’s a reflection of the increasingly mixed discovery environment in which we and our users exist.


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