In the recent past very powerful forces have emerged in our society whose effect has been to weaken greatly our ability to distinguish between alternatives which are useful and alternatives which are useless. It is argued here that library automation emerged right in the middle of these mental disabilities, was spurred on for personal and institutional ego reasons; its acceptance reflecting a total lack of the critical evaluation that its expense would seem to require.
Ellsworth Mason's two recently published papers, severely criticizing library automation, are refuted on the basis that he presents a biased view. Many of his opinions are expressed as blanket statements which require qualification to reflect the total picture. In addition, while admitting to the failures and problems, this paper presents the positive accomplishments in a brief evaluation of the status of library automation in 1971.
The functions of the United States Book Exchange (USBE) are defined and its periodicals holdings evaluated. It is compared with similar services provided by commercial dealers and library duplicates exchange networks and is found to complement them. The USBE is shown to provide a distinctive service at reasonable cost and to supply material frequently not available elsewhere. This article concludes that the USBE is insufficiently known and used. It can be of real benefit to developing libraries seeking to enlarge their periodical holdings and to established libraries needing to acquire missing periodical issues.
It is rather unfortunate that library problems have not been able to attract the attention of management scientists. Hence, major decisions are based on intuition rather than sound principles. This paper discusses a procedure for solving the problem of overordering copies of books for which fewer number of copies would be sufficient. Money can be saved which could be used for other purposes. In short, the effectiveness of library administration would improve.
Librarians should not reject the collections of high-reduction fiche being offered by either the National Cash Register Company or Library Resources, Inc., without considering seriously what this technology and the contents of the collections offer. The advantages and disadvantages of high-reduction microfiche are considered, as well as the reading machines required to view them. The content of the collections offered by these two major micropublishing firms is analyzed; the marketing strategies, cost, and bibliographical aids offered are compared; and some conclusions are presented based on the analysis and comparisons made.
Library Statistics of Colleges and Universities: Data for Individual Institutions, Fall 1967 identifies the classification system used by each reporting institution as "LC," "DC," or "Other." Since no other alternatives were allowed, the answer "Other" was forced to bear a wide variety of meanings. This study not only delineates eight meanings attached to this answer by the 174 college and university libraries which checked it but also provides added evidence concerning the extent of the "swing to LC" within academic libraries during the 1960s.
To the confusion of library patrons and staffs, subject headings in indexes, lists, bibliographies, cross-references, and on catalog cards appear in a variety of formats: in capital letters, in underlined lower-case, in lowercase red, in italics, and in both upper- and lowercase. The writer proposes an easy solution to the problem: print subject headings in capital letters and other entries in lowercase.
This article pertains to one rather small but important sector related to the library activities of an emerging university, Arkansas State University. The topic for consideration is the reclassification of some 46,970 volumes from the Dewey Decimal Classification to the Library of Congress scheme, in a library whose general collection numbered 90,000 volumes at the beginning of the project. This paper presents one approach to this task, describes the personnel, equipment, quarters, and procedures employed, and states cost estimates relative to the work done. The aim of the paper is to encourage librarians who are now in a situation comparable to that at Arkansas State, in 1966, to begin such a conversion. We wish to impress our readers with the presentation of an observably simple, economically feasible scheme for carrying on a reclassification project.