PLEASE NOTE: This is an archived document! It is of historical interest only and does not necessarily represent current Yale University Library practice. For other archived documents, go to: Archived Cataloging Documentation. For current documentation, go to: Cataloging at Yale.

Expanding NACO Participation

From: Authority Control Planning Committee
To: Don Waters, AUL for Technical Services
Date: 27 March 1996

I. Background

NACO Program

The Name Authority Cooperative Project (NACO) is a cooperative cataloging program established by the Library of Congress in 1977 to facilitate the creation and maintenance of a national name authority file. Institutions participating in NACO contribute authority records to the national file using special accounts in the two major bibliographic utilities, RLIN and OCLC. Records created in these accounts are forwarded to the Library of Congress, assigned control numbers in a 010 field, and added to the national file. This file is accessed through the utilities by catalogers worldwide in order to verify the forms of name headings that should be used as access points in bibliographic records. Records from the national file are also loaded into local catalogs, thereby providing a cross-reference structure that allows catalog users to find all the works by a particular author together under a single heading rather than scattered under variant headings.

OCLC Authorities Processing and the Need for Expanded NACO Participation at Yale

OCLC will soon begin automated authorities processing of the Orbis database, both to improve authority control in the existing database and to enable the Library to maintain ongoing authority control. As part of this processing, the Library will be completely rebuilding its authority file using records from the national authority file supplied by OCLC. The Library of Congress control numbers in these records will provide the basis for any subsequent overlays by OCLC as updated authority records become available. Because the Library will only receive records that exist in the national authority file, it is imperative that all catalogers begin to contribute records to the national file through the NACO program. To continue our present practice of creating and maintaining local authority records would prevent us from taking full advantage of the service OCLC will be providing and would inevitably result in conflicts between local and national records.

Level of Current NACO Participation at Yale

The Library's participation in NACO has thus far been limited to the East Asian, Near Eastern, and Slavic teams, and one cataloger at the Music Library. The Rare Book team is only now beginning to submit authority records and the History team anticipates contributing records as part of its participation in the BIBCO core record project. The Library's current procedures for submitting NACO records involve much duplication of effort. Authority records are generally created first in Orbis and print-outs of the records are sent to the Database Maintenance team for rekeying into RLIN. The RLIN records are then reviewed for any errors. No attempt is generally made to subsequently overlay the original Orbis records with national file records, which contain the added 010 control numbers, once they appear in LTLC. Current participants have not received official NACO training from the Library of Congress and do not have access to complete NACO documentation.

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II. Plans for Expanded NACO participation

Increased Use of National Utilities

Contributing authority records through NACO involves: 1) searching to verify that an authority record has not already been established in the national authority file, 2) searching to gather the information necessary to creating the authority record, and 3) actually creating the record. Options for steps 1 & 2 include RLIN, OCLC, and the LC database. Searching the LC database using the Internet is free, but the database is difficult to access, cumbersome to search, and would require staff to master an entirely new set of commands. Searching in either RLIN or OCLC is the better option. Most staff are more familiar with the RLIN file structure and search commands, but those who find OCLC more useful for certain types of materials (e.g., the Latin American team) might prefer using OCLC for NACO work. Staff might require some additional training in using utility authority files; OCLC users would probably require more training than RLIN users, but this is an issue we have not yet fully explored.

Options for step 3, authority record creation, are limited to RLIN and OCLC. Monty Montee investigated the possibility of contributing locally created records directly to the Library of Congress on an ongoing basis, but found that this is not feasible. Even if it were, using the national utilities would still be a better option because the utilities offer search credits to NACO institutions in order to encourage the contribution of authority records. RLIN, for example, offers 4 search credits for each authority record created, which should help to offset the cost of the additional searching necessary to contributing NACO records.

Anticipated Workflow

Once OCLC begins authorities processing, virtually all local authority record creation and all local authority record updating will cease. Catalogers will begin entering authority records directly into NACO accounts set up in RLIN and OCLC. These records will not enter Orbis until they are sent to Yale by OCLC as a result of automated processing. The time lag between when the records are created in RLIN or OCLC and when they are loaded into Orbis could be as much as six weeks, although the records will be available in LTLC for verification purposes after a minimum of two weeks. Because OCLC does not process uniform title or conference headings, or any headings coded with a second indicator of "4" (e.g., provenance tracings on Beinecke records) the Library will not receive authority records associated with these headings as part of automated authorities processing. Procedures for deriving these records into LTYL once they appear in LTLC will need to be put into place. A decentralized approach to record review is envisioned, in which one person on each cataloging unit will be responsible for maintaining quality control for the authority records created by the entire unit. These designated 'authorities experts' will also be responsible for communicating with the library's NACO Coordinator as needed (Yale's current NACO Coordinator is Monty Montee).

Authority Records to be Contributed

All new and updated personal, corporate, and conference name authority records (100/110/111), geographic name authority records representing jurisdictions (151), and uniform title authority records, including series (130), will be contributed through NACO. The criteria currently used to determine when authority records need to be created in Orbis will also be used to determine when records should be contributed to NACO (i.e., whenever cross-references are needed or whenever a name needs to be distinguished from another name with the same form). Teams participating in the BIBCO core record program and the NACO Music Project may create additional authority records that are not strictly needed according to Yale’s criteria. All records will be given full-level AACR2 coding, with the exception of an occasional provisional record. We estimate that annual record contributions through NACO will number ca. 9000, based on projections from available statistics; this figure is currently being verified with a system count of FY94/95 original authority records.

Participating Staff

All cataloging staff who currently create authority records will contribute records through NACO. This includes approximately 50 people throughout the entire Library system. A break-down of this number by staff level and cataloging unit is provided in an appended document which presents the results of an informal cataloger survey conducted during the week of March 18-22.

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III. Issues Requiring Action

System Requirements

To accommodate the need for increased searching, new accounts may have to be set up or existing accounts expanded to allow for a greater number of simultaneous users. To accommodate the need to create and update authority records in the utilities, NUC symbols will need to be validated for some branch libraries (e.g., the British Art Center, Divinity, and Social Science libraries) and new authority accounts will have to be set up. Only one person at a time may access authority accounts, so an optimum number of accounts will have to be determined. There is no charge for setting up new accounts in RLIN; searches in the bibliographic and authority files are 50 cents apiece. OCLC charges are still being investigated. The Library may also have to purchase additional simultaneous access ports at the cost of $97 per month, especially for the Medical, Social Science, and Beinecke libraries where staff are already experiencing limited access.

NACO Training For Staff

NACO authority records are created according to more rigorous standards than are currently followed at Yale. Although cataloging staff should already have a basic knowledge of the relevant rules (including AACR2, the LCRIs, and USMARC for Authorities Data), a thorough review of these rules will be needed. Staff will also need to learn new rules relating to 1) additional procedures followed when creating NACO records (e.g., thoroughly searching the national utilities to determine variant usage and LC usage, recording this information in the authority record itself, and reporting to the Library Congress when Bibliographic File Maintenance is needed) and 2) standard procedures for searching and inputting records in the RLIN and OCLC authority files.

Option 1: The standard procedure for libraries joining the NACO program is for the Library of Congress to send a designated NACO trainer to the library. The trainer conducts a thorough week-long series of classes generally limited to 12-13 people. The library may elect to have multiple trainers come or to have the trainer stay for additional weeks of classes. Alternatively, the 12-13 people trained initially can train the remainder of the staff. The host library is expected to compensate the trainer for his or her expenses (e.g., travel, room, and meals), estimated at $1000 per week; no salary compensation is required.

Deborah J. Leslie, of the Rare Book Team, contacted Ann Della Porta at the Library of Congress on March 14 to investigate the possibility of having a NACO trainer come to Yale. She has summarized the details of their conversation in a separate memo, appended. If Yale were to request a NACO trainer now, one could probably come in June. This date would be compatible with our plans for having negotiations with OCLC completed by May 15, given that it will probably take OCLC some extra time after negotiations are completed to prepare for processing.

Option 2: Monty Montee has approached Mickey Koth, Deborah J. Leslie, and Manon Theroux about the possibility of the three of them conducting NACO training for Yale's catalogers. All three have contributed authority records as part of the NACO program, but none has received official NACO training. The Library of Congress has agreed to send copies of its training manual to Yale for their use if needed.

Recommendation 1: We recommend that the Library bring in a regular NACO trainer in order to ensure that staff receive the highest-quality training. Mickey, Deborah, and Manon could not be as thorough, concise, and accurate as a regular NACO trainer, given their disparate experiences and their lack of formal training. They possess only a second-hand knowledge of NACO procedures, many of which are quite LC-centric, and are familiar primarily with their specific areas of expertise, music and rare books. The time necessary for them to prepare and conduct NACO training would severely curtail their normal duties and would likely cost the library more in lost wages than what it would cost to reimburse a regular NACO trainer for expenses. They could, however, fulfill a valuable function once receiving NACO training by 1) helping to train staff not able to attend the sessions, 2) serving as resource people to whom staff could direct questions on an ongoing basis after training has been completed, 3) helping to review records created by staff if necessary, and 4) serving as liaisons with Library of Congress staff as necessary.

Recommendation 2: To accommodate the large number of cataloging staff who will be affected by Yale's expanded NACO participation, the ideal training opportunity would be to have a regular NACO trainer, or several trainers, conduct a total of three week-long training sessions. Simultaneous sessions would probably not be feasible, given that the Electronic Classroom is the only site that would fulfill the room requirement for the afternoon practicums. Consecutive, or nearly consecutive, sessions would need to be arranged instead. Although three NACO training sessions would not provide training for all participating staff, they would at least provide training for all professional staff who currently create authority records at Yale.

Post-Training Follow-Up

The following questions represent post-training issues that still need to be addressed by the Committee: How will training of support staff and other staff unable to attend training sessions because of scheduling conflicts be conducted? What specific review procedures will need to be put into place? Presumably these procedures will need to be more stringent at first and less so as staff become experienced NACO contributors. Will the switch to NACO participation take place abruptly, on one particular date, or will it be implemented gradually using a phased approach? We anticipate being better able to pursue these questions once a specific training schedule is firmly in place.

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Appendix 1: Staff Needing NACO Training

Results of a survey conducted: 18-22 March 1996

The following is a list of the number of cataloging staff who currently create authority records at Yale. In square brackets are noted the number of staff who are not creating authority records now but desire training because they consider knowledge of authority control procedures to be integral to their jobs or are considering creating authority records in the future.


Unit M&P C&T
Arts & Sciences 4 5 (4D/1C)
Arts of the Book 1 0
Catalog Management [1] 0
East Asian 3 1 (C)
Hebraica 1 0
History & Soc. Sci. 4 1 (D)
Latin American 1 2 (1D/1C)
Ms. & Archives 0 0
Near Eastern 1 0
Rare Book 6 0
Slavic 3 1 (D)
Southeast Asian 1 0


Unit M&P C&T

British Art Center 1 2 (D)
Beinecke 1 & [2] 0
Divinity 2 0
Medical 2 1 (D)
Music 1 0
Social Science 1 1 (C)

TOTALS 36 14


Art & Architecture, Astronomy, Cross Campus, Classics, Drama, Engineering, EPH, Forestry, Geology, Government Documents, Kline, Law, Mathematics, Ornithology.

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Appendix 2: Memorandum

To: D. Waters; Authority Control Planning Committee
From: DJ Leslie
Re: NACO training at Yale
Date: 14 March 1996

This afternoon I spoke on the telephone to Ann Della Porta of the Library of Congress' Cooperative Cataloging Program about the possibility and attendant issues of providing NACO training to Yale's catalogers. The salient points of information from that conversation are:

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