EDITORIAL By Ruth C. Carter
Bibliographic Control at the Cross Roads. By F. H.
ABSTRACT. At the beginning of the eighties the Library Establishment was engaged in a battle with the heretics over the implementation of AACR2. Those who were in favour of the new code wanted immediate implementation of AACR2. The critics, however, wanted delay, arguing that the disruption of implementation would damage library services and be very expensive. They also argued that delay would mean that progress in automation would make implementation easier in a few years time. No one would claim that the early implementation was a complete disaster. Few, however, could pretend that it made a dramatic impact in improving the quality of our catalogues while some would argue that it had made them worse. Since there are no figures for the cost of the implementation the critics are justified in arguing that the Library of Congress and the British Library paid a heavy price in order to ensure that implementation took place.
Today we face a new challenge. Bibliographic control is at a stage of development which could lead to a dramatic improvement in its scope and effectiveness. This will not be done by producing another edition of AACR. Nor will it be done by maintaining that the main entry is essential. Horizons need to be widened. Principles need to be reexamined. New methods need to be considered and the whole exercise must be linked to automation and not the traditional methods of the past. This paper is an attempt to look at some of the possibilities.
Form and Genre Headings in Serials Cataloging. By
Faye R. Leibowitz
ABSTRACT. Form and genre headings are used in the cataloging of archives and manuscripts, audiovisual materials and monographic works of fiction. These headings can also be useful in cataloging serial publications. Form and genre headings can describe the physical format of a serial as well as the point of view or other characteristics relating to what the serial is, rather than what it is about. The headings are particularly useful in the description of "general" periodicals. Catalogers must exercise caution in assigning terms which might "label" the publication as outlined in the American Library Association's Statement on Labeling.
Subjects of Concern: Selected Examples Illustrating
Problems Affecting Retrieval of Information on Iran and Related
Subjects Using LCSH. By Darrin Gitisetan
ABSTRACT. Reference librarians are expected to retrieve information on a variety of multicultural subjects and languages. Idiosyncrasies in treatment of these subjects must be identified if library users are to be assisted in an efficient manner. Peculiarities, inconsistencies, and other problems associated with the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and with several other LCSH-based indexes when retrieving information on Iran and its culture are analyzed in this article, and suggestions for their future improvement are presented.
Contract Cataloging: A Pilot Project for Outsourcing
Slavic Books. By Magda El-Sherbini
ABSTRACT. This paper describes a pilot project conducted at the Ohio State University Libraries to contract out the cataloging of Slavic books. Two dimensions were examined in this study: 1)the quality of bibliographic records produced by the vendor; and 2) the comparative costs for cataloging in-house vs. outsourcing the cataloging.
Authority Files in Online Catalogs Revisited. By
Nirmala S. Bangalore
ABSTRACT. User requests resulting in zero hits for author searches in an online catalog are analyzed. The need for bibliographic records relating to a name to be brought together under one form of the name and the need for cross references to direct a user from variant forms of the name are discussed. Arlene Taylor's study of this problem in 1983 are replicated. Data are given to prove that linked bibliographic/authority files and the availability of see references online in the public view of OPACs are reducing zero hits.
Ten Years After the Question: Has There Been an Answer?
By William E. Studwell
ABSTRACT. In 1985 an article in a leading journal asked the question, "Why not an 'AACR' for Subject Headings?" Over the following decade there were a number of direct and indirect responses, yet the question really has not been adequately answered. However, in the intervening decade there has been some real progress towards a satisfactory resolution of the issue.
CATALOGING NEWS By Elizabeth N. Steinhagen, Editor