Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week of June 21, 2013 in Reference

This week in Reference June 21, 2013

Last week I got an example of the importance of name authority. A student wanted to check out a book and her bar code wouldn’t pull up her record. I entered her name and found a name. Since the record was from 2007 I asked her if she still lived on Long Street. She replied, no that is the other person with the same name. They had the same middle initial and year of birth. She said that she has never met that persona but has been confused with her before. The name was not even what I thought was a common one. I entered her record with a full middle name and date of birth to make sure they are not confused.

I was at the doctor’s office this week and they kept asking for my name and date of birth. I finally asked why. It was to differentiate people with the same name. That is also an example of good name authority. If we were cataloging a book date of birth (and death if known) are used to differentiate authors.

In checking the catalog I found a record with a main author entry and an added entry with the same name, but different years. Initially I thought something was wrong with the entry. When I retrieved the book I found one author was the father and the other his son. We don’t record the “Jr.” in the name entry. However, in the rules for transcribing title pages in RDA we would record “Jr.” if present on the title page.

A staff member of the college wanted to read the latest issues of Time and Newsweek. I said we get Time, but Newsweek [fn 1]is no longer appearing in print. She replied, “But you used to get it.” “Yes that was before if stopped the print edition.” She replied, “Where is the current issue of Time?” I pointed her to the periodicals area and she had a hard time figuring out how to get there. She walked in the exact opposite direction. I guess she didn’t have the time to read that day.

A student in a history class wanted information on “hematology” (also referred to as Kemitism) Since I never heard of this term I used a Google search to learn more. It is a pagan revival of the ancient Egyptian religion. I found a web site, The Khemit School of Ancient Mysticism: http://khemitology.com/ with information on the Khemit School. They say that Egyptology does not cover everything about this ancient religion. I searched our catalog and WorldCat , but did not find any books on the topic. I looked for information in reference books and articles, but found nothing. I had to give up finding library sources. The only materials available are for sale on Khemit web sites. The student was ok with the lack of information. He will have to choose another topic to write about.

Another week at the reference desk and I’m always looking for stories, searches, and ideas to share.


1. The story of Newsweek and it financial woes and change to an all digital format is in the Wikipedia article found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsweek . Newsweek sells issues and subscriptions for the digital version.

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