Volume 44, no. 3/4, 2007


Robert P. Holley
Guest Editor


Introduction, Robert P. Holley, Guest Editor



Technical Services and Tenure Impediments and Strategies
Janet Swann Hill

ABSTRACT: Although the appropriateness of faculty status for technical services librarians serving in academic libraries is often debated, these librarians usually share the same personnel status as other librarians in the same institution. The success of technical services librarians in achieving tenure is explored, along with perceptions about the relative ease with which they may attain it. Possible impediments to success are identified, with special focus on the portrayal and evaluation of the practice of librarianship, as distinct from scholarly or service pursuits. Strategies for countering these impediments are suggested.

KEYWORDS: tenure, faculty status, technical services, evaluation, catalogers


The "Works" Phenomenon and Best Selling Books
Richard P. Smiraglia

ABSTRACT: Studying works allows us to see empirically the problem of instantiation of works, both at large and in the catalog. The linkage of relationships among works is a critical goal for information retrieval because the ability to comprehend and select a specific instantiation of a work is crucial for the advancement of scholarship. Hence, the present study examines the instantiation of works among a set of entities known to be popular—best selling books of the 20th century. A sample of best selling works (fiction and non-fiction) from 1900-1999 was constructed. For each work in the sample, all bibliographic records were identified in both OCLC and RLIN as well as instantiations on the World Wide Web. All but one work in the sample exists in multiple instantiations; many have large networks; and complex networks of instantiations have begun to appear in full text on the Web. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of continuing to gather statistical data about works. Solutions devised for the catalog will need to be modified for use in the chaotic environment of the World Wide Web and its successors.

KEYWORDS: works, instantiation, best sellers, popular culture, canonicity, FRBR


Measuring Typographical Errors’ Impact on Retrieval in Bibliographic Databases
Jeffrey Beall
Karen Kafadar

ABSTRACT: Typographical errors can block access to records in online catalogs; but, when a word contains a typo and is also spelled correctly elsewhere in the same record, access may not be blocked. To quantify the effect of typographical errors in records on information retrieval, we conducted a study to measure the proportion of records that contain a typographical error but that do not also contain a correct spelling of the same word. This article presents the experimental design, results of the study, and a statistical analysis of the results. We find that the average proportion of records that are blocked by the presence of a typo (that is, records in which a correct spelling of the word does not also occur) ranges from 35% to 99%, depending upon the frequency of the word being searched and the likelihood of the word being misspelled.

KEYWORDS: errata, cataloging errors, online library catalogs


Error Rates in Monograph Copy Cataloging Bibliographic Records Before and After Outsourcing at the University of Saskatchewan Library
Vinh-The Lam

ABSTRACT: This comparative study was conducted to compare error rates encountered in monograph copy cataloging bibliographic records before and after a cataloging outsourcing program was implemented at the University of Saskatchewan Library. The findings of the study were twofold: 1) The error rates were low and acceptable; 2) There was no significant difference between error rates before and after outsourcing.

KEYWORDS: academic libraries, cataloging, outsourcing, monograph cataloging, copy cataloging, error rates, Saskatchewan


Meeting the Needs of Special Format Catalogers: Ideas for Professional Organizations, Library Schools, and Professional Catalogers
Robert L. Bothmann

ABSTRACT: Catalogers are essential for cataloging and classification of resources in library catalogs to create a resource discovery tool to aid users in their research and public service librarians to assist users. The number of catalogers in libraries has declined in past decades; and many more are on the cusp of retirement, resulting in an impending loss of collective history. Previous literature addressed catalogers in general, the training and recruitment of catalogers, and the expected retirements of librarians in general. The purpose of this study is to assess the specific needs of nonprint or special format catalogers in relation to education, training, and mentorship. A voluntary online survey conducted in 2004 asked questions about special format catalogers’ current work, involvement in professional organizations, source of their training, their opinions of library school education, and demographic questions. The survey results indicate nearly half of all special format catalogers will retire within fifteen years, and the majority have had special format cataloging added to their workflow over time. Memberships in professional organizations are low, but one third hold some sort of office in an organization. Special format catalogers are interested in more training and felt that library schools do not offer enough training. Ideas dealing with cooperative professional development among special format catalogers, professional organizations, and library schools are proposed based on the survey results.

KEYWORDS: special format catalogers, professional development, cataloging training and education, mentorship, library education, professional organizations


Copy Cataloging for Print and Video Monographs in Two Academic Libraries: A Case Study of Editing Required for Accuracy and Completeness
Carolynne Myall
Sydney Chambers

ABSTRACT: This article presents the results of a case study of editing required on OCLC bibliographic records for print monographs and video/DVD monographs during a three-month test at two mid-sized academic libraries. First, the authors reviewed the literature of cataloging/catalog quality and consider the problems this literature presents in terms of creating meaningful and measurable standards of "quality." Next, they define "quality" for the purposes of the case study and describe case-study procedures for determining and comparing extent of editing required for records to meet comparable standards. They then present results indicating that records for print monographs acquired at the two institutions usually required little or no editing (many of these records were U.S. national-level records), while records for video/DVD monographs required considerably more editing (U.S. national-level records for this category of acquisition were not available). Finally, the article proposes establishment of a cooperative program to create U.S. national-level bibliographic records for videorecordings/DVDs as a means of reducing redundant institution-level editing and ensuring availability of comparable records across formats.

KEYWORDS: video cataloging, DVD cataloging, book cataloging, local cataloging practice, cataloging standards


Are Technical Services Topics underrepresented in the Contributed Papers at the ACRL National Conferences?
Robert P. Holley

ABSTRACT: This study tests the hypothesis that the contributed papers at the 12 ACRL national conferences do not cover topics of interest to technical services librarians in proportion to their membership in ACRL. The analysis showed that 14.66% of contributed papers dealt with subjects that were part of the charge of ALCTS, the technical services division in ALA, and its five sections. This percentage dropped to 7.52% with the removal of collection development papers that are also of high interest to many public services librarians. Current overlap statistics indicate that 18.83% of ACRL members also belong to ALCTS—an indication of potential ACRL member interest in technical services topics. An unexpected discovery was that the contributed papers became much more holistic with the arrival of the Internet and electronic resources in academic libraries and, starting with the 1999 Detroit national conference, were much more difficult to categorize into specialized niches. The author speculates that the attendance at the national conferences by a high proportion of librarians from small to mid-size academic libraries discourages papers on technical services topics since technical services librarians are more likely to work in large ARL libraries.

KEYWORDS: ACRL national conferences; publications in technical services; holistic librarianship



Quo Vadis Cataloging?
Elizabeth N. Steinhagen
Mary Ellen Hanson
Sharon A. Moynahan

ABSTRACT: Under the leadership of Ruth Carter’s generation, cooperative, shared cataloging grew and flourished among academic and research libraries. The authors provide an overview of trends and challenges from a golden age of expanding budgets and international cooperation during the 1970’s and 1980’s and later responses to the economic retrenchment and demographic changes of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Responses to current challenges, including the impact of outsourced cataloging, increasing complexity of cataloging rules, and emerging technological options, are discussed.

KEYWORDS: cataloging, outsourcing, cooperative cataloging, catalog rules, catalog standards, keyword searching


Principia Bibliographica? Balancing Principles, Practice, and Pragmatics in a Changing Digital Environment
Dick R. Miller

ABSTRACT: This article explores the emphasis on control in cataloging versus the chaos found on the Web. It delves into adversarial relationships between catalogers and technologists. It seeks commonalities and suggests that new alternatives addressing both perspectives might offer superior and more satisfying results. A series of examples juxtapose current practices, enrichment possibilities, and flaws in current digital solutions to suggest potential opportunities where catalogers might excel. Speculation on ways to promote cataloging principles and values via more direct participation in the unruly digital environment hints at a more promising future for our profession.

KEYWORDS: cataloging, relationships, principles, transparency, balance, cooperation, control, time, open access, tradition, innovation, MeSH, XML


Cataloging Compared to Descriptive Bibliography, Abstracting and Indexing Services, and Metadata
Martha M. Yee

ABSTRACT: Cataloging is compared to descriptive bibliography, to enumerative bibliography and abstracting and indexing services, as well as to metadata created by Web search engines or nonprofessionals at sites such as Amazon.com. These four types of metadata are compared with regard to object of the description, functions, scope, number of copies examined, collective vs. individual creation, standardization, authority control, evidence, amount of descriptive detail, degression, time span the data is intended to last, and degree of evaluation.

KEYWORDS: cataloging, metadata, descriptive bibliography, enumerative bibliography, abstracting and indexing services, Web search engines, Google, Amazon.com, authority control, standardization, degression


Knowledge Structures and the Internet: Progress and Prospects
Nancy J. Williamson

ABSTRACT: This paper analyses the development of the knowledge structures--Web directories, thesauri, and gateways/portals--as they are presented on the Internet as aids to information seeking. It identifies problems and suggests improvements.

KEYWORDS: thesauri, web subject directories, gateways, Portals, subject access


Numbers to Identify Entities (ISDAN’s--International Standard Authority Data Numbers)
Barbara B. Tillett

ABSTRACT: The advantages of unique identifiers for the entities described in authority records are outweighed by the costs to manage an international system for assigning and maintaining such unique identifiers. Today’s and tomorrow’s systems perhaps can do without unique identifiers, but the attraction of unique identifiers still persists. This paper provides a personal recommendation to use the existing machine-generated record control numbers from our authority records as an interim measure until we see what future systems need.

KEYWORDS: unique identifiers, International standard authority data number, ISADN, name authority control, subject authority control


When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Pick It Up: A Case Study in Managing by Self-Responsibility
Lyn Condron

ABSTRACT: Focused and limited management theories generally do not cover many important aspects of staff members’ and teams’ working lives. While most managers implement specific tools that they find helpful from one theory or another, an overriding philosophy that has proven consistently effective for our team is that of self-responsibility by the manager, by the individuals, and by the team as a group. Managers must not only encourage self-responsibility but also set expectations and empower both individuals and teams with the capability to take responsibility for and manage as much of their work life as possible.

KEYWORDS: management, cataloging, supervision, self-responsibility, teams, staff


Introduction by Robert P. Holley

Ruth Carter has many friends! The number of contributions to this festschrift in honor of her stepping down as editor of the Cataloging & Classification Quarterly is a strong testament to her high regard by leaders in the field. I accepted the invitation to edit this volume in April, 2005 because of my long association with Ruth and my wish to provide a fitting tribute to her years of service to the journal.

I developed the plan for the festschrift in consultation with Sandy Roe, the current editor of CCQ. I extended an invitation to contribute a paper to members of the editorial board, to the most frequent contributors to the journal, and to a few select leaders in cataloging. In addition, Sandy and I sought out several contributions that would deal with Ruth’s professional career and the importance of the journal. Finally, Linda C. Ewbank interviewed Ruth to gain her perspective on her professional career and term as editor.

As can be seen from the number of articles, the response was enormous. Many others declined with regret. I did not assign topics to the contributors. When asked about possible subjects, I told the authors "to write an article that would make Ruth proud." This decision resulted in the somewhat eclectic nature of the festschrift as the various authors chose a wide variety of topics and methodologies.

I have grouped the contributions into the following categories:

All articles were peer reviewed. I wish to thank the following for their efforts and especially for their promptness in returning the articles with comments:


In "The Story of Ruth: The Life and Contributions of Ruth C. Carter," Kathryn Luther Henderson, her cataloging professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recounts the amazing career of Ruth Carter as a librarian, researcher, editor, and active member of multiple professional associations. She stresses her multifaceted contributions in serials, technical services, and archives as well as her ability to draw the highest level of achievement from her colleagues.

Linda C. Ewbank interviewed Ruth Carter for the festschrift. In "An Interview with Ruth Carter," Ruth comments not only on her life but also on the key issues in cataloging at the beginning of the 21st century. She describes her experiences as the editor of CCQ and her role in professional organizations. She concludes by letting us know a bit about her interests outside of librarianship and her plans for the future.

In "Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 1990-2006," Sandra K. Roe, Rebecca Culbertson, and Laurel Jizba analyze the contents of the journal by looking at contributors, article types, and changes in topics. Their results show that authorship has become more diverse and that topics have changed to reflect developments in cataloging, most frequently caused by advances in technology.

Sheila S. Intner has written a poem "In Honor of Ruth C. Carter."


In a major study on the availability of "Books and Other Reading Materials in Early Monroe County, Indiana," Martin D. Joachim draws upon both published and unpublished sources to show that books were easy to acquire during Indiana’s frontier period in the first half of the 19th century. He includes information about both library and private ownership of reading materials along with extensive documentation on holdings, including individual titles.

"Annotation: A Lost Art in Cataloging" by J. H. Bowman traces the use of annotations in early 20th century Great Britain to clarify obscure titles or to provide further information about the subject-matter. Annotations started to disappear after World War I with the decline of the printed catalog. He draws parallels between annotations and current table-of-contents information.

F. H. Ayres and J. M. Ridley describe "Twenty-five Years of Bibliographic Control Research at the University of Bradford." With the cooperation of the Department of Computing, the Bradford University Library has undertaken many creative projects including the Universal Standard Bibliographic Code; database merging, deduplication, and quality control; and the BOPAC project that creates faster and better access to library online catalogs.

The final paper in this section, "International Cataloguing Tradition and Italian Rules: Common Ground and Specific Features," authored by Carlo Bianchini and Mauro Guerrini, traces the history of the development of cataloging codes in Italy. The authors chronicle the effects of the tension between international standards and local tradition and the need to reconcile the two. They also emphasize the need to make the catalog easier to use.


Janet Swann Hill presents her findings on "Technical Services and Tenure: Impediments and Strategies." Tenure is a difficult issue for librarians because it is based on the faculty model of teaching and research. Through an examination of documents and a questionnaire, she examines whether technical services librarians, whose work most often does not include significant direct contact with users, face difficulties in achieving tenure that their public services colleagues do not. She concludes by discussing strategies to increase the likelihood for technical services librarians to obtain tenure.

In "The ‘Works’ Phenomenon and Best Selling Books," Richard P. Smiraglia empirically examines the instantiation of a sample of best selling works of the 20th century. His analysis of the bibliographic records in OCLC and RLIN and their instantiations on the World Wide Web found that many of these best selling books have large and complex networks. He concludes that solutions that worked for the catalog may need to be modified for the World Wide Web.

Jeffrey Beall and Karen Kafadar present their study on "Measuring Typographical Error’s Impact on Retrieval in Bibliographic Databases." They test the hypothesis that, with the prevalence of keyword searching, a typographical error may not have an impact on retrieval if the word is found correctly spelled elsewhere in the record. They discovered that the presence of a typo blocks access to a significant number of records (35% to 99%), depending upon the frequency of the word being searched and its likelihood of being misspelled.

In "Error Rates in Monograph Copy Cataloging Bibliographic Records Before and After Outsourcing at the University of Saskatchewan Library," Vinh-The Lam determines that, for monograph copy cataloging, outsourcing had no significant effect upon cataloging quality at the University of Saskatchewan Library and that the error rates were low and acceptable.

Robert L. Bothmann is concerned about "Meeting the Needs of Special Format Catalogers: Ideas for Professional Organizations, Library Schools, and Professional Catalogers." Through a voluntary online survey of special format catalogers, he learned that most of them learned their special skills on the job. They expressed a need for more training and for more attention within professional organizations to their concerns. He then offers suggestions for future steps, especially since 50% of the catalogers surveyed intend to retire within fifteen years.

The topic of Carolynne Myall’s and Sydney Chambers’ article is "Copy Cataloging for Print and Video Monographs in Two Academic Libraries: A Case Study of Editing Required for Accuracy and Completeness." By analyzing a sample of cataloging at two mid-sized academic libraries over a three-month period, they determined that video/DVD monographs require much more editing because national-level records are not available. They propose a cooperative program to create high quality records for these items.

Robert P. Holley poses the question "Are Technical Services Topics Underrepresented in the Contributed Papers at the ACRL National Conferences?" He examines the contributed papers from the twelve ACRL National Conferences for those with subjects of interest to members of ALCTS. Only 14.66% dealt with topics that are part of the charge of the units within ALCTS. In eliminating collection development topics, also of interest to public services librarians, the percentage dropped to 7.52%. His unexpected discovery is that the contributed papers have become much more holistic with the arrival of the Internet and electronic resources.


Elizabeth N. Steinhagen, Mary Ellen Hanson, and Sharon A. Moynahan summarize the recent history of cataloging and speculate about future directions in "Quo Vadis, Cataloging?" They trace the path from the golden age of cataloging in the 1970’s and 1980’s through the economic retrenchment of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. They also consider the effects on technology including the rapid rise of search engines such as Google. They conclude with the advice that cataloging must move forward beyond replicating the old paper catalog card to focus on cataloging as part of the intellectual process of access for research.

Dick R. Miller studies the differences between the authority control offered by cataloging and the chaos on the World Wide Web in his "Principia Bibliographica? Balancing Principles, Practice, and Pragmatics in a Changing Digital Environment." Through a systematic examination of several different examples, he looks at the varying approaches and suggests ways to achieve the best of both worlds. He believes that catalogers should take a much more active role in the digital environment.

In "Cataloging Compared to Descriptive Bibliography, Abstracting and Indexing Services, and Metadata," Martha M. Yee deepens the understanding of cataloging by comparing it to descriptive bibliography, indexing and abstracting services, and metadata. She pays particular attention to providing a clearer sense of what metadata is. Yee feels that it is important not to overlook the differences among these various systems in the creation of new cataloging rules.

Nancy J. Williamson evaluates improvements in subject access since 1997 to materials on the Internet. She looks at search engines; Web subject directories; thesauri; and gateways and portals. Williamson concludes that subject access for Internet materials has definitely improved but also that much remains to be done to assure that quality information rises to the top.

In "Numbers to Identify Entities (ISDAN’s—International Standard Authority Data Numbers)," Barbara B. Tillett considers whether it is advisable to develop a system of International Standard Authority Data Numbers. While she recognizes the appeal of unique identifiers, she concludes that the existing machine-generated control numbers from our authority records are adequate until we know better what future systems need.

The volume concludes with a management case study, "When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Pick It Up: A Case Study in Managing by Self-Responsibility’" Lyn Condron strongly believes that the key to management success is initiating and supporting self-responsibility by the manager, by the individuals, and by the team as a group. She discusses the application of this principle to cataloging production; teams and meetings; competency management; the general work environment; and quality assurance.


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