LRTS v 43, no. 3, July 1999

Preservation Strategies for Geoscience Literature: New Technologies for an Old Literature

Lisa A. Wishard and Linda R. Musser

In this article we describe the complex nature and history of the literature of the geosciences. We evaluate preservation technologies applicable to the formats found in the literature, such as oversize, color, and folded maps and plates. Technologies profiled include deacidification, encapsulation, storage options, and facsimile creation including xerographic, photographic, film, and digital reproduction. We present applications of the technologies and discuss suggestions for developing preservation priorities for the literature.

End-User Understanding of Subject Headings in Library Catalogs

Karen M. Drabenstott, Schelle Simcox, and Eileen G. Fenton

In this article, we report on the first large-scale study of end-user understanding of subject headings. Our objectives were to determine the extent to which children and adults understood subdivided subject headings and to suggest improvements for improving understanding of subject headings. The 1991 Library of Congress Subject Subdivisions Conference suggested standardizing the order of subject subdivisions for the purpose of simplifying subject cataloging, which served as the impetus for the study. We demonstrated that adults understood subject headings better than children; however, both adults and children assigned correct meanings to less than half of the subject headings they examined. Neither subject heading context nor subdivision order had an effect on understanding. Based on our findings, we challenge the library community to make major changes to the Library of Congress Subject Headings system that have the potential to increase end-user understanding of subject headings.