Kathleen Thorne of San Jose State University asked for advice on passwording
for updating bibliographic records .
I apologize for taking a while to answer your query which went out over
SERIALST. It was forwarded to me by a staff member who monitors that list.
I must admit I feel great sympathy for you after reading how so many of your
staff can edit bibliographic records as they like.
My institution has set guidelines and limited the passwords to avoid unwanted
changes. Nevertheless occasionally a few things slip through.
a. Out of 57 staff about 15 have passwords to update bibliographic
b. Those persons are all in Cataloging and a few are in Acquisitions.
Those in Acq. have guidelines on what they are allowed to change.
Specifically holdings information.
c. Only those students in Cataloging are passworded to edit
d. other than dept. processes to revise work, etc. we have no specific
quality control in place. Since other persons outside this dept. do
not have the option to change bibl. records I don't find this a
problem. The changes made in Acq. are seen by Cataloging staff.
e. The Assistant Director for Access Services in consultation with the
the Head of Cataloging determine who can be passworded for the update
We have had really messy changes show up that were entirely inadvertent. This
is scary. Students in other departments barcode and attach item records for
bound periodicals. A couple times they have somehow gotten fields changes on a
bib. record and inserted the barcode numbers there rather than on the item
record. These persons are all passworded to barcode and create items in the
Circ. function, not in Database Maintenace.
Our Documents staff also do all their own barcoding and attaching item records.
They are told not to change any bibliographic record. They send printouts to
cataloging with their requested changes to Bibl. records. This allows some
review and questioning of "Unorthodox" changes.
Hope this helps and good luck in effecting some changes.
Head of Cataloging
University of Northern Iowa