Friday, March 30, 2012

Undifferentiated Names

Message from the Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Committee about undifferentiated personal names.
The Program for Cooperative Cataloging Policy Committee (PoCo) has been monitoring the discussion on various cataloging email lists over the past months and noticed a recurring topic of (and frustration with) authority records for undifferentiated personal names. We wondered whether this was a problem that we should tackle now, in conjunction with the imminent changes to the LC/NACO authority file to align it with RDA implementation. Even though this is not an RDA issue, we decided yes.

Two PoCo leaders, Philip Schreur and John Riemer, volunteered to prepare a discussion paper, which is attached to this message and is posted on the PCC web site. We invite community comment on this discussion paper beginning now through June 22, 2012. The discussion will continue in person at the PCC Participants Meeting at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. There are several options for you to provide input, and the PCC Secretariat has agreed to compile the issues for the discussion. To participate in this discussion, you may: (1) send your comments privately to the PCC Secretariat at coop@loc.gov; (2) post your comments publicly to one of the cataloging email lists, preferably PCCLIST, with a cc to coop@loc.gov; (3) voice your comments in person at the PCC Participants Meeting at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim in June. While PoCo members will be reading the comments, we will not be able to respond to each comment.

We expect that the community comments in the coming months will help us prepare for and design the public forum on this topic at the PCC Participants Meeting, and will enable those unable to attend that meeting to participate. We are particularly interested in hearing from authorities and ILS vendors, and hope that providing this discussion paper now gives them time to think and react. We also welcome reactions from the international community, especially from CEAL, where we know this topic has particular impact.

Following the PCC Participants Meeting at ALA Annual, PoCo will reach a decision about the next steps in this process. We look forward to your input on this substantive issue.

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