During January 2015, cataloging librarians in Milner Library successfully completed a Library of Congress training program to become members of the Name Authority Cooperative Program (NACO).

As a NACO member, Milner Library creates, reviews, and enhances access points for personal, corporate, and jurisdictional names; and uniform titles based on national and international standards and then shares them globally through the LC/NACO Authority File. These unique identifiers are used to link works in online catalogs and to allow users to more easily find related items.

While NACO is a national program, many of the records created by Milner Library are for individuals directly related to Illinois State or of local interest. So far Milner Library catalogers have created Name Authority Records for notable Redbirds such as Illinois State University’s first president, Charles E. Hovey; history and geography professor and McCormick Gymnasium namesake, Henry McCormick; and first female Illinois State professor and Haynie Hall namesake, M.D.L. Haynie; among others. When the information is available Milner Library catalogers add biographical data such as other institutions with which a person was affiliated, where they were born and died, their field and profession, and other information.

The Name Authority Records are then used in catalog records (which are displayed when someone does a search) to link resources associated with the name or title being described. Milner patrons have likely seen Name Authority Records displayed as the author in the record for a book they might be searching for without realizing (for example) that the Name Authority Record is what links books written by Voltaire even if they were written under his given name of François-Marie Arouet.

Once a week, beginning May 16, Milner Library’s social media will be promoting one of the over 300 Name Authority Records created by the catalogers so far. It is hoped that students, faculty, and staff will find these records useful for locating resources by or about these entities which will assist with their teaching, learning, and scholarship.