Article Abstracts

Volume 51, No. 1

Cognitive and Affective Processes in Collection Management

Brian Quinn

The selection process in collection management has been characterized as based primarily on logical, ra-tional thinking processes. Psychologists, however, have discovered that judgment and decision making are not exclusively cognitive functions. They depend instead on a complex interaction between affect and cognition, feeling and thought. This paper attempts to explore some of these interactive processes and how they potentially influence the selection process in collection development. Some implications for how selectors approach their work are discussed as well.

Toward Releasing the Metadata Bottleneck: A Baseline Evaluation of Contributor-Supplied Metadata

Amanda J. Wilson

Metadata creation is one of the most expensive components of digital projects. Organizational expertise (the correct structure, syntax, and use of metadata elements) and subject expertise (the appropriate semantic descrip-tion of a resource’s content for users) are both needed to create a high-quality metadata record. Resource crea-tors are frequently considered good metadata generators. Contributors or subject enthusiasts in a discipline are another population that may be good candidates for metadata creation. In this study, the quality of contributor-supplied metadata is evaluated. Metadata records submitted through a Web form are compared to the final pub-lished version of the record. Structural and semantic errors are noted throughout the records evaluated. Overall, semantic quality was good, reflecting subject expertise. The appearance and type of structural errors suggests that improvements in the interface can reduce contributors’ need to have organizational expertise to create high-quality metadata records.

A Review and Analysis of Library Availability Studies

Thomas E. Nisonger

The concept of availability (can a library patron locate a desired item on a library’s shelves?) and Kantor’s branching method for identifying barriers to availability (acquisition, circulation, library operations, and the user) are described. A literature review identifies more than fifty investigations of availability reported in journal articles, dissertations, theses, or conference presentations during the last quarter century. The mean availability rates for known-item searches by actual patrons of 61.3 percent or 63.1 percent (depending on the calculation method) are quite similar to the 61 percent found in an earlier review covering the years 1934 to 1984. Analysis of availability in Kantor’s branches shows variation among libraries, but no branch standing out as a major bar-rier. The paper concludes with the argument that the traditional availability measure can be modified for use as an objective, user-centered evaluative tool in the electronic environment.

The Challenges of Change: A Review of Cataloging and Classification Literature, 2003–2004

Shawne D. Miksa

This paper reviews the enormous changes in cataloging and classification reflected in the literature of 2003 and 2004, and discusses major themes and issues. Traditional cataloging and classification tools have been re-vamped and new resources have emerged. Most notable themes are: the continuing influence of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Control (FRBR); the struggle to understand the ever-broadening concept of an “information entity”; steady developments in metadata-encoding standards; and the globalization of information systems, including multilinguistic challenges.