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Check here for links to presentations and publications made by the Gould Library staff.

Hsianghui Liu-Spencer & Tom Lamb presented "A Batch Solution to the Death Date Problem: A Case Study" at MNIUG

Thursday, December 6, 2012
By Thomas Lamb

At the October Minnesota Innovative User’s Group conference at St. Olaf, Hsianghui Liu-Spencer and Tom Lamb presented their experiment with batch updating personal name authority files with death date additions issued by the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress began publishing weekly lists of changes to death dates in personal name authority records in February 2006. Over a six-year period, LC issued greater than 35,000 changes to personal name headings. Of these headings, 39% were found to exist in Carleton's authority file.When libraries fail to update their authority files with these changes, it has negative consequences for the functionality of the library catalog. In 2012 Carleton College experimented with a unique solution to batch update death dates in both authority and bib records. Our process allowed us to update our database with six years of accumulated death date changes.  In this presentation, we detailed that process; discussed the benefits, challenges, and outcomes of the experiment; and revealed what we learned.