LRTS v 41, no. 3, July 1997

From Citation to Piece in Hand: The Search for Efficiency in Accessing Monographic Series

Marian Shemberg

The author of this article looks at access problems that occur when the citations from indexes for articles in series differ from the way the items are cataloged. To illustrate the difficulties encountered, a search was conducted in the online catalogs of various libraries and a comparison made between the bibliographic entries found to citations both in electronic indexes and in authors' references. The results indicate that the ramifications of local cataloging decisions affect all areas of librarianship. In this electronic age, the need is great to integrate the various sources of information needed for a patron to go from citation to piece in hand.

Identical in Appearance but Not in Actuality: Headings Shared by a Subject-Access and a Form/Genre Access Authority List

David Miller

Authority records were compared for established headings that are identical in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH, 18th edition) and Moving-Image Materials: Genre Terms (MIM). First, the Use For, Broader Term, Narrower Term, and Related Term references in the LCSH authority file were compared with their counterparts in MIM, to determine the proportion of duplication existing between them. Fewer than 10% of these reference headings are identical. Second, a qualitative comparison was made of the "semantic spaces" inhabited by identical headings in different contexts: a general-purpose subject access list as compared with a medium-specific form/genre access list. It was found that, in many cases, headings that are identical as character strings have markedly different meanings in different contexts. The conclusion offered is that, both quantitatively and qualitatively, pairs of identical headings differ sufficiently from each other that the creation of authority records for each usage represents no duplication in any meaningful sense. The striking divergence, in many instances, between semantic spaces provides food for thought on the differences between the naming of subjects and of forms/genres.

Changing Roles: Original Cataloging by Paraprofessionals in ARL Libraries

Deborah A. Mohr and Anita Schuneman

The role of the paraprofessional cataloger in academic libraries is rapidly changing. The authors in this study investigated the nature of paraprofessicmals' work in original cataloging activities at ARL institutions and compare their findings with those of an earlier survey. Original cataloging was defined to encompass a variety of activities including description, the creation of name and uniform title headings, subject analysis, and classification. Findings reveal that 77.1% of the cataloging department heads at the responding ARL institutions report paraprofessional involvement in one or more of these activities, with original description the most common and subject analysis the least common. Among the reasons commonly cited for such invokement were paraprofessional career development and cost savings. The respondents also noted advantages and disadvantages of paraprofessional participation in original cataloging as well as reactions they had observed among both professional and paraprofessional catalogers to this participation.

Analyzing Search Styles of Patrons and Staff: A Replicative Study of Two University Libraries

Kathlin L. Ray and Mary S. Lang

Librarians at the University of the Pacific (UOP) designed a replication of an earlier transaction log study. We hypothesized that library staff would use a feature that allows the searcher to limit a.search by location or material type more often than patrons. We also hypothesized that staff and reference librarians would have a higher success rate than public users. Our third hypothesis was that UOP patrons would perform keyword searches more often than library staff. Studies were conducted in 1995 and 1996 to test these hypotheses. In our two-year endeavor to provide comparative data on the search styles of patrons and staff, we discovered that replicating a study is not nearly as straightforward as we had initially thought. We also found it surprisingly difficult to compare year to year data at the same institution.. This was primarily due to a continually changing technological environment.