Authority Control in the Library Catalog

Authority control has been an integral part of library catalogs since the inception of the modern library. As library catalogs are being revolutionized in their construction and use, the question is often asked if it is still important. How does authority control benefit users of the catalog? What data is important to include? How do authorized terms and authority records improve searching in the catalog? How has RDA impacted authority control? How are libraries managing all the changes (including terms, the structure of authority records, and cataloging format)? Bring your thoughts and experiences and join us for a lively discussion on these questions and more as we explore the present and future of authority control.


Mary L. Mastraccio is Cataloging and Authorities Manager for MARCIVE, Inc. where she keeps their services current with the cataloging rules and format changes and contributes to NACO. She received her MLS from Syracuse University and has held positions in technical and public services in academic and public libraries, as well as working for library system and authorities vendors. She is active in ALCTS, serving on CaMMS committees and several Genre/Form Implementation Subcommittee Working Groups.

Mary Charles Lasater is the Authorities Coordinator and a cataloger for Vanderbilt University Libraries. She is a NACO trainer (currently serving as reviewer and trainer for the Tennessee NACO funnel) and a SACO mentor. She is also involved in the development of Vanderbilt’s discovery interface, Discover Library.


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