Backstage Library Works

Authority Control: Consistency Among the Changes

about this presentation

How do you handle authority records when outdated Library of Congress headings don’t reflect your library’s policies for inclusion? Authority control enhances discovery in your library’s catalog, disambiguating similar headings while collocating and cross-referencing related terms. Updates from external sources, like Library of Congress name and subject headings, change the preferred terminology over time. Left uncontrolled, older records will use different terms for a person or topic than newer records, impeding search. But authority control is more than just housekeeping. Some metadata librarians are using local authority practices to more respectfully recognize marginalized groups or to proactively decolonize their catalogs, replacing outdated terms still in use by national authority files with preferred terminology in their local records. In this webinar, Casey Cheney, vice president of automation services at Backstage Library Works, explores external and internal changes that can affect headings in a library catalog. She discusses how leveraging automation can help a library’s metadata team manage updates and propagate decisions made at a local level. She also answers audience questions.

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