OPAC Queries at a Medium-Sized Academic Library: A Transaction Log Analysis
By Heather L. Moulaison
Patron queries at a four-year comprehensive college’s online public access catalog were examined via transaction logs from March 2007. Three representative days were isolated for a more detailed examination of search characteristics. The results show that library users employed an average of one to three terms in a search, did not use Boolean operators, and made use of limits one-tenth of the time. Failed queries remained problematic, as a full one-third of searches resulted in zero hits. Implications and recommendations for improvements in the online public access catalog are discussed.
Literature of Acquisitions in Review, 1996–2003
By Barbara S. Dunham and Trisha L. Davis
In this review, the authors discuss key trends in acquisitions found in the professional literature published from 1996 through 2003. During this period, technology surfaced as the primary factor affecting acquisitions policies and procedures. Advances in technology allowed vendors and libraries to select, order, and pay for materials via automated systems and the Internet. Such changes also allowed acquisition units to streamline many of their processes and improved efficiency. As the demand for electronic resources continued to grow, acquisition units frequently were restructured to meet the more complex acquisition process. Acquisitions librarians often were required to assume the responsibility for negotiating license agreements and establishing online access, and to handle the myriad issues required to manage electronic resources. The changes in technology were complex improvements to existing workflows; the addition of electronic resources management introduced significant new responsibilities to the acquisitions unit.
How Much are Technical Services Worth? Using the Contingent Valuation Method to Estimate the Added Value of Collection Management and Access
By Philip Hider
This paper reports on an application of the contingent valuation method in order to establish a dollar estimate of the value added to a collection by a library’s technical services. The overall benefit-cost ratio of the Wagga Wagga City Library, in New South Wales, Australia, was estimated to be 1.33:1, whereas the benefit-cost ratio of its technical services was found to be much higher, at 2.4:1, indicating the particular importance of this work. The use of stated preference techniques such as contingent valuation is discussed, with reference to library and technical service contexts.