Even though small libraries are a clear majority in the academic world, the advantages, disadvantages, and especially the cost to the small library system of participation in an online cataloging network have not been easy to determine. This study was undertaken to provide a cost-benefit analysis for the administrators of a small college in Maryland. Though there are attractive advantages to networking for the small library, disadvantages include possible increased demands on already limited professional staff time and a cost in excess of $3.00 per title cataloged ($4.50 per title during the initial year). Networking is not recommended for the smallest third of the nation's libraries.
This paper reports the work of the Centre for Catalogue Research into the effectiveness of library catalogues with regard to the level of content of the entries. Special emphasis was given to assessing users needs for bibliographic data elements and the usability of catalogues with different levels of entry. The approach used is described and the main results are presented. Two of the nine projects are described in some detail as examples of two research techniques not commonly used in library investigations. The conclusions suggest that much of the information normally included in the catalogue entry is very rarely used by readers, and its inclusion makes catalogues difficult to use with the result that some items may not be found. If such data were excluded, users would be helped and it would provide an opportunity to consider providing other, more valuable information, particularly subject annotation and access.
The history of the citation checking approach to collection evaluation is reviewed briefy. Two specific techniques that employ citations from journal articles are pro-posed and tested by evaluating university library political science collections. The results of the tests in five university libraries in the greater Washington, D. C., area are analyzed, as are some of the practical problems in implementing the techniques. The results indicate that these two techniques constitute reliable and valid collection evaluation methods.
To reduce the chances of acquiring retrospective materials from France on paper of inferior quality, the authors surveyed the French-language holdings in history and literature at the Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In their attempt to create guidelines, they discovered that the history collection is in slightly better condition than the literature collection, but that a serious decline in the quality of paper used in French books began around 1885 and continued through the rest of the period under study. Only 36 percent of the books printed between 1905 and 1909 may be said to be still in good condition. Data from the study about specific publishers and about paper quality by quinquennial periods will help to inform selection and choice of format decisions,
To compare two tools often conttilted for information about serials, a random sample of 200 titles was drawn from the OCLC online database and another sample of 200 titles was drawn from New Serial Titles. Each title was searched for a corresponding entry in the tool in which it did not originally appear. The 217 titles found in both tools were compared for holdings reports, selected bibliographic data elements, and supplementary notes. The OCLC database appeared to be the suptripr resource for current material, while New Serial Titles was found to be the stronger resource for older titles. Reasons were suggested for the appearance of certain titles in only a single tool. It was concluded that both tools are important information resources for serials.
A major cause of duplicate bibliographic records in the OCLC and RLIN bibliographic utilities is the difficulty of distinguishing printings and editions of a given monographic title. This decision is complex because the cataloger must consider the history of printing technology, cataloging rules, Library of Congress policy, and local practices, as they apply to the standards of the bibliographic utilities. Understanding these elements will help catalogers achieve consistency and accuracy in the creating and editing of bibliographic records at the local, national, and international level.
Conference publications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have been difficult to catalog. Serials cataloging of these publications can pro-vide adequate access for the primary user community at a reasonable cost, The IEEE has recognized the value of serials cataloging for these publications and is taking steps to ensure that most of them will be issued as serials. A model procedure for cataloging them is presented.