LRTS v 29, no. 1, January 1985

Enriching the Library Catalog Record for Subject Access

Carol A. Mandel

This paper analyzes proposals for augmenting library bibliographic records for improved subject searching in online catalogs. Possible fields for enrichment are described and their likely value assessed. The assessment determines that the main value of enriched records would be to provide access to parts of books. The paper presents arguments for and against adding book content indexing to the online catalog and analyzes the feasibility of eleven alternatives for providing such information.

System Features for Subject Access in the Online Catalog

Gary S. Lawrence

Recent research shows that users of online catalogs find subject searching difficult, that characteristics of subject searches are qualitatively different from those of known-item searches, and that some design features of online catalogs appear to perform better than others for topical searching. It has been recommended that system designers develop different approaches, or interfaces, for different kinds of searching. This paper reviews available design techniques from a subject-searching perspective, including various methods of indexing bibliographic records, processing and correcting user input, searching the database, and displaying search results. The review concludes that there are may alternative approaches, each with strengths and weaknesses, and combining techniques in new ways may have unknown results, but many promising methods are nonetheless available now to make more effective use of the subject information in current bibliographic records.

Subject-Searching Experiences and Needs of Online Catalog Users: Implications for Library Classification

Karen Markey

When the findings of the Online Catalog Evaluation Projects have been presented at public forums and meetings, the researchers have emphasized the importance of subject access to online public access catalogs. Survey and interview responses and transaction log analyses provide evidence that there is much more subject searching of online catalogs than expected, given the findings of traditional catalog use studies. Research into online catalog use reveals that users have problems with subject searching, particularly in the selection of subject vocabulary. And, when asked to identify desired improvements to online catalogs, library users select those that will expand and enhance subject searching. Subject searching, therefore, deserves much emphasis and attention in terms of online catalog improvement. This paper describes an experiment in the use of the Dewey Decimal Classification in online catalogs to introduce the classed approach to the subject searching of library collections, enhance the subject terminology indexed in the online catalog, and provide possibilities for search strategies not possible through the alphabetical approach of subject headings and/or keywords.

Changing AACR2 to Accommodate the Cataloging of Microcomputer Software

Sue A. Dodd

The packaging rather than the content of microcomputer software issued by commercial publishers makes these files appear to be different in composition from the earlier files represented in chapter 9 of the second edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. The issuance of microcomputer files by established book publishers has brought a demand for rules for descriptive cataloging that resemble those for other commercially produced materials. Chapter 9 has already undergone some changes and more are forthcoming. The purpose of this paper is to examine the rules affected by revisions approved by the Joint Steering Committee and those covered in the new Guidelines for Using AACR2 Chapter 9 for Cataloging Microcomputer Software and to suggest changes still needed to provide adequate bibliographic control.

Subject Access to Microcomputer Software

Joan S. Mitchell

Although there has been a great deal of discussion in the literature of the problems of cataloging microcomputer software, the focus has been almost exclusively on descriptive cataloging. In January 1984, the ALA/CCS Subject Analysis Committee appointed a subcommittee to study subject access to microcomputer software. This subcommittee has now identified a preliminary set of objectives. This article discusses these objectives and reports on the problems of subject access to microcomputer software and on the work of the subcommittee to date.

Microcomputer Use in Collection Development

Erwin K. Welsch with Nancy L. Crossfield and Kenneth L. Frazier

The article describes different applications of microcomputers for acquisitions and collection development in three of the university libraries at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It emphasizes differences in hardware and software for similar tasks, describes utilization problems, and concludes with generalizations about strategies for effective microcomputer use in collection development, especially the importance of individual training.

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Cooperative Projects

Nancy E. Gwinn


The Library of Congress: A More-Than-Equal Partner

William J. Welsh

What is the role of the Library of Congress (LC) in cooperative preservation microfilming activities in the United States? What has it been? What is it now? And what is it likely to become in the future?

The Future of Cooperative Preservation Microfilming

Margaret S. Child