Management structure of the Authority File and maintenance of the online SBN catalogue

Since March 1994, the Institute has set up the Management Structure for the authority file and maintenance of the SBN online catalogue,  made up from librarians belonging to  SBN institutions which, because of their institutional responsibilities, location, representativeness of SBN software packages, specific functions and users, could ensure that the cooperative effort, under the coordination of ICCU, would enjoy the essential skills and commitment for the fulfilment of such a  delicate  and onerous task. Fourteen library institutions participate in the structure’s activities:
  • BVE -  National Central Library hub, Rome
  • CFI – National Central Library hub, Florence
  • IEI – Hub of the cultural institutes in Rome
  • MIL – Hub of the universities in Lombardy – CILEA/University Library, Pavia; Braidense National Library
  • MOD – hub of the Modena province
  • NAP - MBCA Vittorio Emanuele  III National Library hub, Naples
  • PAL – Hub of the Sicily region, Palermo
  • PUV – Veneto university hub, Padua
  • RAV – Romagna library network hub, Ravenna
  • RML – Hub of the State libraries of Rome
  • TO0 – Hub of the Piedmont region, Turin
  • UBO – Joined Bologna hub
  • UFI – Florence University hub
  • VEA – Hub of MBCA l Marciana National Library, Venice / Querini Stampalia Foundation .
These activities include the erasing of the existing duplicates, the correction of the records relating to titles and authors, the creation of authority records as regards uniform titles and authors, in accordance with the national author cataloguing rules (REICAT) and international guidelines (GARR and UNIMARC/A).

In order to carry out  these tasks, a technical work group (the “Structure”) was established; using special passwords, it directly works on the SBN Index applying centralized functions, supported by monitoring activities on the database and statistical reports.
The new SBN Index, especially after the integration of the existing databases, the addition of new fields for the management of special materials (graphic art, maps, etc.) and the integration of the authority file in the SBN Index, has extended the scope of centralized activities to new types of materials, making it possible to process specific data and implement new fields for the authority records.

Centralized functions are now performed through the direct interface, which makes it possible to work simultaneously on multiple desktops in Windows environment. This makes it much easier to perform activities such as “merging” and ”titles transferring” activities and to work simultaneously on multiple lists or functional areas, navigate more easily, use multiple fields and filters and perform corrections even during the navigation itself, and to avail oneself of an archive of sources managed at central level as well, thus ensuring control and uniformity even at catalographic level.
The new functions of the Direct Interface: massive and semi-automatic merging of the Index duplicate records
In April 2012, as part of the Evolutionary Maintenance of the SBN Index project, ICCU developed new functions to be activated by the Direct Interface client, thus providing support to librarians interested in contributing to the elimination of duplicate records in the Index, starting with their own hub records, through a “massive merging” activity related to one-level monograph descriptions.
The project consisted in the following stages:
  • creation of an algorithm to detect Index duplicates, similar to the one already used for Import activities;
  • producing lists of duplicates to be queried online and selected through suitable filters;
  • developing “massive merging” functions managed through the Direct Interface client.
The librarians from the participating hubs can select from the general list of duplicates the subset relating to those collected by their own hub, just,and  select lists by type of material (e.g. only modern, ancient, musical material, etc.) as well.
Since these are centralized and highly delicate activities, as they directly impact on the collective catalogue and on the records of other hubs, ICCU has so far allowed the use of these new functions only to those librarians who are also members of the SBN catalogue maintenance structure. Nevertheless, ICCU hopes to extend the working pool to new hubs, in accordance with the indications provided by the SBN technical and scientific committee.
The Area for Standards, Catalographic rules and Training activisties is in charge of spreading the news on the new functions in the SBN hubs.