ALA Recap

Authority Control Interest Group Users Breakfast

We had 22 clients or visitors in attendance at the meeting.  Visitors included Jim Kuhn from Folger Shakespeare Library, Janet Ahrberg from Oklahoma State University, Maggie Horn from SUNY System Administration, Sheila Bair and Miranda Howard from Western Michigan University.  Our long distant traveler had to have been Sally Crosby from the American University of Sharjah.  We appreciate all who were in attendance.  We started the meeting with an open breakfast bar then proceeded with a few words from, Maritta Coppieters, our new product manager for on-site services.  Maritta talked about Backstage’s on-site services. She heads up a team of employees who perform on-site services such as RFID tagging, reclassification and re-shelving. Many libraries find it impossible to make these physical moves within their library and service their public at the same time so they hire our on-site services group to help them.

Our Guest Speaker, Shirley Higgins from the University of California San Diego was our next speaker.  Shirley told the group about the Union Database for Authority Control the University of California Library system and UCSD are involved with.  Through the use of Backstage Automated Authority process they are able to provide Library of Congress authority records for a database that many of the University of California Libraries are able to utilize.

John Reese gave an overview of MARS 2.0 progress for the first half of 2009.  He mentioned the first half enhancements: Heading Tracker, Bibliographic Update Services, Juvenile Heading enhancement and Insignificant Change Report enhancements.  John plugged the following Backstage Library Works innovations including the authority control community site , the Retrospective TOC promotion and Backstage being one of three vendors chosen by US National Libraries RDA Test Steering Committee for RDA testing.

John introduced MAX (MArs Express) the upcoming authority control product due out by end of the year and explained how clients using MAX will be able to fully automate their authority control process.  It will provide processed records within an hour or two of delivery for your typical current cataloging process (up to 20,000 records).  A notification will be sent when processing is complete and records are ready for pickup.

As always there is a questions and answers portion of the MARS 2.0 User meeting.  The topic that generated the most discussion this year was, “How does your ILS system utilize untraced authority records?”  Maggie Horn from the SYNY System explained that untraced authority records are a hold over from pre automation days.  For most libraries today, if the authority record is untraced it is not needed.  No decision was made on weather Backstage should continue to deliver these authority records or not.  We would be interested in hearing from other clients.  If you are using the untraced authority records let your fellow Backstage AC users know how you are using them by either posting on the BSLW forum, or by posting on the BSLW listserv.


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