INWOOD, WV, April 28, 2005 – Ramapo Catskills Library System (RCLS) in Middletown, NY uses a powerful new model of authority control processing.
Instead of outsourcing authorities updating as it had done in the past, RCLS now performs dynamic, continuous authority control and update processing for its 47 member libraries, using TLC's AuthorityWorks.
AuthorityWorks is designed to work with any library automation system.
The dynamic nature of authorities requires that a library's authority records undergo a top to bottom review from time to time. But no matter how frequently a library takes this step, authorities are out of date as soon as the update is loaded. RCLS was sending its database out for automated authorities updating every three to five years. It was a costly and problematic approach. The three to five year cycle gave RCLS, like other libraries that use this method, little chance of taking advantage of current authority headings.
AuthorityWorks includes cataloging and automatic authority control capabilities with integrated access to the national authority files. TLC and RCLS technical staff worked together to design processes and workflows that enable AuthorityWorks to "do the work" for RCLS and spare the library system from having to outsource.
As part of the implementation of AuthorityWorks, TLC performed authority control processing on the RCLS bibliographic file, then delivered bibliographic and authority files back to RCLS on a server. RCLS now performs all bibliographic and authority maintenance on that server. As RCLS acquires new records, library staff members use AuthorityWorks to complete and verify each record. RCLS then loads the new bibliographic records along with new or changed authorities into its Dynix system.
“Commonly used Web search engines employ a complex series of algorithms in an attempt to generate the ‘best' response to the user's query,” RCLS Director Robert Hubsher commented. “Although this can help users find common information that the algorithm recognizes, it does not provide the users with access to the wealth of information that they may miss because of the lack of a properly applied and implemented controlled thesauri and vocabularies.”
This is why AuthorityWorks is the right fit for RCLS operations, Mr. Hubsher said: “We control the vocabulary. It's checked against national and local files and terms. AuthorityWorks gives us the ability to make relevant changes and additions. It is completely integrated in our cataloging workflow, so it is more efficient than other update methods. Traditional methods of ‘fixing' authorities inherently have problems associated with file transfer data integrity loss, issues of time, reloads, and other technical issues. AuthorityWorks is simple to use and integrates with our existing process. It allows our staff to efficiently and accurately manage what was once a very complex and inexact process. Now, every record is thoroughly screened and ‘scrubbed' to ensure it meets our exacting quality standards. The process is managed by the RCLS staff in real time and eliminates the need for costly, inexact periodic updates to our over 750,000 title database.”
For information, visit www.tlcdelivers.com/tlc/authoritycontrol.asp.
About The Library Corporation
TLC is owned and operated by the family that founded the company over 30 years ago. The company's automation solutions include library automation, cataloging and authority control solutions, RFID, and AquaBrowser Library. A number of TLC products, including AuthorityWorks, AquaBrowser Library, the Web-based Online Selection & Acquisitions, and RFID, are designed to work with any ILS.