Three authors describe their research study that examined subject heading
understanding; in particular its findings about changes in meanings for
subdivided subject headings. A
second article examines the cataloging of microreproductions and digitized texts
and concludes with the author’s proposal to adopt the Library of Congress
microform model for the cataloging of digitizations.
In another article the author proposes an approach for managing
vocabulary for reference databases on the Web.
The approach is intended for domain specific databases that have much of
the reference material remaining in non-digital form.
Two very practical articles follow.
The retrospective conversion experiences and lessons learned at the
University of Botswana Libraries provide important points to remember in
planning conversion of manual catalogs to online.
The author allows us to follow steps in automating a library in a country
in Africa where such basics as a dependable power supply cannot be taken for
granted. Nonetheless, lessons that the author wants to convey to
others in parts of the world still facing retrospective conversion of catalog
records and automation of their catalogs include the importance of planning,
standards, quality of records, and taking the time to do things right the first
Many of us have been, are, or will become supervisors at some time.
One new catalog department head shares a survey that she used in getting
to know her staff’s perception of work related issues and considerations.
The author initially presented these remarks at the ALCTS/CCS Heads of
Cataloging Discussion Group at ALA Midwinter 1999.
Three book reviews are included in this issue of CCQ.
Two treat second editions of now classic books, one on technical services
and the other covering the theory and practice of indexing and abstracting.
The management of serials in libraries is the topic of the third book
reviewed here. The Cataloging News
column concludes the issue.
again, this CCQ issue provides insight
into just how broad a field cataloging and classification and the organization
of information really is. With
information a fundamental part of knowledge and today’s society
information-rich, those with the ability to organize the “information tiger”
and provide access to it are very important players in the world today.
That those based in libraries engaged in these activities want to do it
so that everyone has access is a noble value and should never be under-rated.
But, lest we think that the explosion of information is a new phenomena
that makes finding what one wants difficult, Edgar Allan Poe suffered from
similar frustrations. In the 1840’s Poe wrote, “The enormous multiplication
of books in every branch of knowledge is one of the greatest evils of this age;
since it presents one of the most serious obstacles to the acquisition of
correct information, by throwing in the reader’s way piles of lumber in which
he must painfully grope for the scraps of useful matter, peradventure
Edgar Allan Poe presumably would have appreciated the enormous
contributions of the cataloging profession in organizing today’s massive
amounts of information in a myriad of formats even if, at the same time, he
deplored the information explosion that has become a basic fact of life.
 Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia, 1840-1849, quoted in Gorton Carruth and Eugene Ehrlich, The Harper Book of American Quotations (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), p.35.