A model system, the Dewey Online Retrieval System (DOES), was implemented as an interface to an online catalog for the purpose of experimenting with classification-based search strategies and generally seeking further understanding of the role of traditional classifications in automated information retrieval, Specifications for a classification retrieval interface were enumerated and rationalized and the system was developed in accordance with them. The feature that particularly distinguishes the system and enables it to meet its stated specifications is an automatically generated chain index.
Fifty-one subject searches were performed in an online catalog containing about 4.5 million records. Their success was judged in terms of lists of items, known to be relevant to the various topics, compiled by subject specialists (faculty members or authors of articles in specialized encyclopedias). Many of the items known to be relevant were not retrieved, even in very broad searches that sometimes retrieved several hundred records, and very little could be done to make them retrievable within the constraints of present cataloging practice. Librarians should recognize that library catalogs, as now implemented, offer only the most primitive of subject access and should seek to develop different types of subject access tools.
History has shown no rationale and little consistency in how we relate bibliographic entities. An analytical study was conducted to examine the cataloging rules through the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd ed., to reveal practices for indicating bibliographic relationships in catalog records, and to identify types of relationships. Each type of bibliographic relationship has had several linking devices used to connect bibliographic entities. The technology available to create and maintain a catalog has greatly influenced the types of linking devices included in the catalog and prescribed in cataloging rules.
The success of cooperative activities among libraries in the United States has been mixed. Cooperative agreements for the acquisition offoreign-language materials have been more successful than cooperative cataloging programs. A 1983-85 study of the cataloging of Spanish-language materials showed that the Library of Congress provided the majority of the cataloging records for these materials. The rest were being provided primarily by eleven research libraries. This study also suggested that a cooperative cataloging program that involved assigned country and subject cataloging responsibilities was not successful.
An examination of advertisements for serials positions in U.S. academic libraries from 1980 through 1988 reveals that serials departments are far from extinct and that the demand for serials specialists, especially for heads of serials departments and serials catalogers, remains high.. Over half of all positions advertised were in libraries that are members of the Association of Research Libraries, and most position announcements included a requirement or preference for one or more years of serials experience.
There is an increasing awareness of the need for authority systems able to handle a wide variety of thesauri. The MultiLIS system at Laurentian University, a bilingual institution in Northern Ontario, has an authority control module that satisfies many of the requirements for the maintenance of catalog access points in more than one language. The major features of the MultiLIS authority module and its current use in a bilingual setting, as well as its potential in a multilingual or multithesaurus environment, are described. A brief evaluation and critique of the authority module is also presented, principally in terms of its success in meeting the criteria for a multithesaurus management system.