Abstracts

LRTS v 36, no. 4, October 1992

Technical Services Research, 1988-1991

Charles W. Simpson

The question of what constitutes technical services and thus its body of research remains relevant as traditional organizational and functional boundaries have continued to blur in many libraries. Research in technical services (activities related to the acquisition, processing, preservation, and provision of bibliographic access to materials) published between 1988 and 1991 is reviewed. Rather standard topics continue to be explored, there is little replication, and few studies are supported by grants. Little research is experimental. and there is little collaboration among librarians and library science faculty. Howeverr, the body of research continues to be well conceived, well executed, and relevant.

Facilitating Geographic Subdivision Assignment in Subject Headings

Karen M. Drabenstott

The limitations of the existing files of Library of Congress name and subject authority records for indirect geographic subdivision are recognized. Recommendations for enhancements to existing authority records are made, which would enable online systems to assist in subject heading formulation and verify, with limited assistance by human intermediaries, whether geographic subdivision is authorized for use with a particular main heading and whether the correct form of indirect geographic subdivision is given. A study of subdivided subject headings in a large bibliographic database forms the basis of the recommendations.

Time and Workflow Study of the Cataloging Process Used to Evaluate Library of Congress Cardsets as a Cataloging Support Service

Claudine Arnold Jenda

The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which Library of Congress catalog cardsets facilitate the cataloging and classification processes. This case study was conducted during the period 1985 to 1987 at the University of Botswana library, where because of the cost of the subscription to the Blackwell North America card service, the usefulness of the card service needed to be justified. Time studies of the cataloging and classification processes were performed and the data analyzed. In addition, workflows of the cataloging and classification processes were ascertained. Carefully monitored cataloging statistics collected over an eight-month period were also analyzed for additional information. From the results of the time study, an estimate of the cataloging costs incurred when cataloging a title with cardsets has also been worked out and compared to the cost for original cataloging.

Enhanced Catalog Access to Fiction: A Preliminary Study

Susan Hayes

The inadequacy of current rnethods of access to works of fiction in academic and public libraries is discussed. A rationale for providing enhanced catalog access to fiction is presented; the literature on subject-and-genre access to fiction is reviewed. A preliminary study in providing enhanced catalog access to fiction is described and its findings compared with a similar study conducted by the Subject Cataloging Division of the Library of Congress.

Computer-Assisted Theory Building in Library Technical Services: Toward a General Theory of Cataloging Backlog Dynamics

Robert H. Burger

This paper examines the most frequently cited factors responsible for the formation of backlogs. Using these factors, a preliminary theory of backlog dynamics is described. Using computer-simulation software, these theoretical statements are modeled, and additional insights gained. The result is a preliminary theory of cataloging backlog dynamics based on computer simulation with suggestions on how to proceed with further testing and theorizing.