ERIC Number: ED249996
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
Subject Access in the Small Library.
Turock, Betty J.; Shelton, Hildred C.
This pilot study on the subject access problems of patrons of small to medium size libraries was designed to measure the extent to which users' vocabularies matched the search vocabulary of bibliographic records in the card catalog, and to enhance subject access by develooping a microcomputer system which integrated Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) with the natural language of the users. Three public libraries in Virginia were selected as test sites because their users encompassed a heterogeneous population that cut across demographic and socioeconomic indicators. Data collected on exception cases (times when users asked librarians for assistance in finding information) revealed that of the 412 questions analyzed, almost 60% produced no match between the language of the information seekers and the information organizers. The online system which was developed allows directed browsing and puts descriptors into context. It contains eight fields: Subject, the primary access point containing the users' vocabulary; Enter, which serves a cross-referencing function; LC, a selection of relevant Library of Congress subject headings; Broader, Narrower, and Related, three fields which supply hierarchically oriented connections; Scope Notes, which define the meaning of records in the Subject field; and Bibliography, which lists other pertinent holdings. (Author/THC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Library of Congress Subject Headings; Library Users; Online Catalogs
Note: Paper presented at the Mid-Year Meeting of the American Society for Information Science (Bloomington, IN, May 20-23, 1984).