Abstracts Vol. 49, No. 1


TalkLeft, Boing Boing, and Scrappleface:
The Phenomenon of Weblogs and Their Impact on Library Technical Services

Paul Moeller and Nathan Rupp

In this paper, we discuss weblogs (blogs), their impact on society, whether they should be considered for inclusion in library collections, and their bibliographic nature. We describe using several top blog lists to help select a blog appropriate for cataloging and inclusion in our libraries’ political science collections. Lastly, we compare our record with two other blogs that have been cataloged already and whose records are included in a national bibliographic utility.

Analog People for Digital Dreams:
Staffing and Educational Considerations for Cataloging and Metadata Professionals

Janet Swan Hill

As libraries attempt to incorporate increasing amounts of electronic resources into their catalogs, utilizing a growing variety of metadata standards, library and information science programs are grappling with how to educate catalogers to meet these challenges. In this paper, an employer considers the characteristics and skills that catalogers will need and how they might acquire them.

Impact of Full Text on Print Journal Use at a Liberal Arts College

Steve Black

The availability of full-text journal articles online affects patrons’ use of the library’s print journal collection. This case study of a liberal arts college library collection quantifies the change in print journal use from 1996 to 2003. Variables that affect print journal use are discussed, highlighting college student needs and behaviors. Validity and reliability of journal use studies is investigated, and the use of coefficient of variance is described as a tool to measure the reliability of journal use counts. Results show that overall use of the print collection decreased by 52 percent. Use of print journals also available in full text showed a greater decrease in use than journals not available online. Changes in use for each of the academic disciplines represented at the college are reported.

Utilization of Students As Cataloging Assistants at Carnegie Category I Institution Libraries

Timothy H. Gatti

A survey of 261 libraries was undertaken to determine the level of use of and duties performed by student assistants in monographic cataloging operations. Ninety-five of 142 responding libraries (64.1 percent) indicate that they use student assistants for some type of monographic cataloging tasks. These tasks are downloading of bibliographic and authority records, monographic cataloging, classification, subject heading authority control, holdings, database maintenance, and editing of 246 or 505 MARC tags. Some respondents expressed reluctance to use student assistants for higher-level cataloging tasks.

Current and Emerging Challenges for the Future of Library and Archival Preservation

Thomas H. Teper

Confronted with increasingly rapid technological developments and the likelihood of continued economic constraints, libraries face numerous challenges in the coming years that are already affecting their operating models. While many functions are well-established, the responsibility of adequately preserving our collections remains a mandate only partially fulfilled. Many of the same developments that increase access complicate preservation efforts by increasing the competition for diminishing resources, expanding the number of options available, and fundamentally questioning established norms such as the notion of permanence. This paper explores the impact of these trends on the library’s role as memory institution and poses questions about the near future of preservation in the research library.

Production Benchmarks for Catalogers in Academic Libraries:
Are We There Yet?

Mechael D. Charbonneau

This paper examines existing library and personnel literature to determine whether any strides have been made among academic libraries in determining cataloging productivity benchmarks. The perceived importance of performance evaluations based on quantitative and qualitative standards is explored, as is the intended effect of established cataloging production norms. The pros and cons of cataloging benchmarks are analyzed from four different perspectives: library administration, library human resources, cataloging managers, and cataloging staff. The paper concludes that additional research is needed in order to determine whether established production cataloging benchmarks are feasible and meaningful within academic libraries.

Cataloging the Special Collections of Allegheny College

Barry Gray

Scholars have long noted the significance of Allegheny College’s special collections to American cultural and educational history. Special collections have value to colleges and universities as publicity devices to draw scholars, students, and funding to the institution. Catalogers have an important role to play in marketing the library and the college through improved bibliographic access to these collections. Rare book and manuscript cataloging presents many challenges to catalogers, especially at smaller institutions. This report traces the evolution of Allegheny College’s catalog, from book format in 1823, through card format, and finally to online. It also explores the bibliographic challenges created as the library moved from one format to another.