Wednesday, October 14, 2009


There is plenty of coverage of the new bibliographic utility, SkyRiver, so I'll not rehash all that's been said. The article by Marshall Breeding in Library Journal is a good place to start. However, one aspect that has not been covered is the authority file they offer. MARC authority records are available form LC, but the process of downloading them is painful. It is not easy, maybe not possible, to create a file and import them once. Each record has to be downloaded and then imported into the local system. Then the next record is downloaded, etc., etc., etc. An improvement in this process, if it was inexpensive would be greatly welcomed here.

Another bibliographic utility with an authority file that can be edited means it may be possible for smaller libraries to participate in NACO. We have no money in our budget to become full members of OCLC. Yet, in planetary science, our community, we have very good access to most of the authors. We're the folks who host the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference that brings all the community together for a week each year. Nice access. We could be an excellent source of authority records and corrections to existing records if we could become part of NACO. I'd guess there are plenty of other special libraries that have similar expertise that could benefit other libraries.

This is not to say it will ever be offered. There are rules about how often the database has to be updated and how changes in the local one be uploaded to LC. Nothing on their website mentions NACO, but still I dream.

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