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Special Interest Group Archive: Cataloging 1/16/19

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

January 16th, 2019 meeting

The cataloging SIG met after a short hiatus to discuss authorities. The meeting was facilitated by Amber Billey from Bard College.

Amber started the meeting by having everyone brainstorm some topics relating to authorities. Suggestions included vendors, authorities workflows, problematic authorities, and  identity management v. traditional authorities.

Issues / goals

  • Authorities enable deeper searches that allow for linked records and variant spellings.
  • Unfortunately, many still have to persuade directors to even use authorities.
  • Series, name changes (especially for government agencies) could be used to explain the need.
  • Discovery layers are not consistently linking authority records.
  • Discovery layers will show metadata that needs to be updated, especially when using facets.
  • Would be useful to have user groups where biographical data was shared.
  • Would also be beneficial for have a thesaurus for names--example of wikipedia / wikidata for identity management. Why are we creating redundant parallel data repositories?
  • Identity management –being able to use more than just the library of congress name authority records. Use ISNI doesn’t require quite the amount of justification required. Can fill out more information – identifier makes it unique. Takes the pressure off creating a unique name string.
  • JSTOR forum – great model for creating metadata as compared to connexion.
  • RDA the beta version – working on revising the RDA toolkit. Removing overarching rules, forcing local institutions to decide what they want to do. Gotten rid of rule numbers.
  • RDA toolkit – expensive to license, especially for smaller libraries.
  • We are in an open access movement for patrons and yet our materials are behind paywalls.
  • Over the years cataloging has become more complicated but we haven’t reconciled with our old files. Don’t have tools / times to fix these old records
  • Some LOC subject headings are outdated and prejudiced. Topical PCC funnels could be useful to make these changes.


  • A popular vendor, LTI, is discontinuing their services. 
  • LTI authority vendor would take your authority files and bring them up to speed with the current standard / usage. They could also clean up your bibliographic records. A lot of larger colleges relied on it.
  • LTI was useful because it was difficult to have copy catalogers create authority records for each record.
  • People aren't sure of a good replacement for the services LTI provided.
  • Vendors are too invested in MARC; we are too invested in vendors. This makes changing the system difficult.


Ideas for SIG

  • Create a cataloging Listserv
  • Hold a practical MARC Edit workshop
  • Carpool to NETSL Conference
  • Hold meeting @ Vassar this July.
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