Abstracts Vol. 48, No. 3


New Perspectives on the Shared Cataloging Environment and a MARC 21 Shopping List

Martha M. Yee

This paper surveys the cataloging literature to collect problems that have been identified with the MARC 21 format. The problems are sorted into (1) problems that are not the fault of MARC 21; (2) problems that perhaps are not problems at all; (3) problems that are connected with the current shared cataloging environment; and 4) other problems with MARC 21 and vendor implementation of it. The author makes recommendations to deal with the true MARC 21 problems that remain after this analysis.

The Hybrid Conservator: Challenges in a Research Library Environment

Whitney Baker

As new preservation programs emerge, many research libraries can afford to hire only one conservation professional, a “hybrid conservator,” whose position description includes oversight of batched, mass production treatments (usually for circulating collections) and execution of single item treatments (usually for special collections). In order to determine some of the most frequent and persistent challenges facing this relatively new strain of conservation professional, an informal survey was developed and distributed to members of the American Library Association’s preservation administrators’ online discussion group (PADG). The results of this survey, albeit limited, indicate several distinct challenges facing those in hybrid conservator positions, centering on the variety of administrative duties that take time away from high-end treatment activities preferred by many conservators. This paper discusses the most pressing concerns of the respondents and proposes solutions to some of the most common challenges facing the hybrid conservator.

Zines and the Library

Richard A. Stoddart and Teresa Kiser

Zines, loosely defined as self-published magazines, provide a cultural insight to the time in which they are published, making them a genre that libraries may want to consider collecting. Due to their ephemeral nature, however, they create collecting, cataloging, and preserving challenges to libraries. Few libraries across the country have met these challenges and maintain zine collections. Although no two libraries met the challenges in the same way, their unique approaches to zine collections may inspire other librarians to investigate the appropriateness and feasibility of zine collections.

Chronological Terms and Period Subdivisions in LCSH, RAMEAU, and RSWK: Development of an Integrative Model for Time Retrieval across Various Online Catalogs

Jutta Frommeyer

After a fundamental examination of the phenomenon of time, this paper presents the history, authority, and structure of period subdivisions and chronological terms in the three subject heading languages LCSH, RAMEAU, and RSWK. Their usefulness in online searching is demonstrated using the online catalogs of the Library of Congress, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and the Deutsche Bibliothek and is compared to the search options in selected digital encyclopedias (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encarta, Brockhaus-Enzyklopädie). The author develops a model for common time retrieval across all three online catalogs, outlines the conditions for that model (time period code, chronological code, and chronology authority file), and proposes a search interface.

Learning from the Past
Reflection on “The Acquisitions Librarian as Change Agent in the Transition to the Electronic Library”

Ross Atkinson

Over the years since Library Resources and Technical Services began publication in 1957, many fine papers have appeared in the journal. From time to time, we will republish an important paper that contributed in a significant way to the theory of the field or that identified and addressed a unique problem. These papers will be published with a new introduction that revisits the themes of the original paper. “The Acquisitions Librarian as Change Agent in the Transition to the Electronic Library,” by Ross Atkinson, first appeared in 1992 (36, no. 1 [January 1992]: 7–20). This essay received the “Best of LRTS Award” for papers published in 1992. In it, Atkinson investigated the role of the acquisitions librarian in handling new technology and proposed new functions and relationships for acquisitions within the library. We have asked Atkinson to reconsider the ideas he explored in his original paper. His new introduction proceeds the award-winning essay.—Editor

The Acquisitions Librarian as Change Agent in the Transition to the Electronic Library

Ross Atkinson

All information services, regardless of the format used to convey the information, can be divided into the two fundamental categories of delivery and mediation. Delivery is the less visible but no less critical service responsible for shifting the physical information package among different locations. Delivery will become an increasingly significant—but no less invisible—function after the arrival of routine electronic publishing. Acquisitions administrators—who, along with circulation, interlibrary loan, and preservation officers, have primary responsibility for delivery in the paper-based academic library of today—need to begin planning now to expand their knowledge and responsibilities to respond to the new requirements for information delivery in the rapidly approaching age of networked information. If they can achieve such objectives, acquisitions staff will play a key role in improving the future contributions of the library to the academy.