The following was forwarded to me by my Head of Cataloging.
The Library of Congress proposes to adopt the AACR2 provision (which is also incorporated into RDA: Resource Description and Access) of not abbreviating "department" in headings unless it is abbreviated by the body on the resource from which the name has been taken. OCLC has agreed to change the approximately 48,000 1XX fields in name authority records, and the Library of Congress would change its approximately 200,000 bibliographic records and re-distribute them, beginnning no earlier than March 2, 2011. The former 1XX heading would be retained as a 4XX field in the authority record (with $w nne), and existing references would be adjusted as necessary (e.g., for higher bodies with "Dept." in their names). Fields 110, 130, 151, 410, 430, 451, 510, 530, 551 along with 781, all except 4xx where $w is present are all candidates for change. A very small number of changes may be erroneous because the resource actually used an abbreviated form. Such conversion errors may be corrected by NACO participants as encountered after the batch process has been run. The Library of Congress is seeking comments on this proposal by Oct. 1, 2010. Comments should be sent to email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
We did a quick check of 11x, 61x, 71x, and 81x fields (author, subject, linking fields, series) and found more than 40,000 records. Gulp. IF LC approves this change (which I'm assuming that they will), we'll be using an automatic function to update all the records when the new authority records arrive. Unfortunately, that only catches 95% of the needed changes (so I'm told by my Head of Cataloging), so 5% will have to be investigated and changed manually. Fortunately, my ctaloging dept. will handle this!
Fun and games! MJW