Library Catalogues Essay

1996 words - 8 pages

A bibliography, or a list of works, is complied upon a common principle such as authorship, subject, or country of publication (Bopp & Smith, 1991). This assignment will explore a specific bibliography type: library catalogues. Library catalogues are lists of materials held in a library’s collection. Western Libraries catalogue and the University of Toronto Libraries catalogue will be examined in this assignment. The strengths and weakness of each catalogue will be presented and the value of the teen suicide collection will be commented on.
To judge the strength and weakness of each catalogue, authority, purpose, scope, and organization will be, as Katz suggests, considered (Katz, 1997). Each catalogue features a high degree of authority and credibility. Both are associated with the respected and prestigious institutions, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto. Via the authority conveyed, the content within each catalogue is assessed to be trustworthy, reliable, and accurate.
Each catalogue features easily identifiable and concrete purposes. Both provide student, staff, and faculty of each institution access to the materials of each collection. The catalogues support the academic and research activities of the members of both universities.
Broad scope is featured by each catalogue. Through the catalogues, library users have access to the collection of both libraries, and detailed marc information about items in the collection.
Organization ranks high in each catalogue. Both feature clean, well designed, and attractive catalogues. Both feature simple search boxes with advanced search options, options to search for articles, databases, journals, and search limiters. Much information is presented and may be overwhelming for users unfamiliar with the catalogues.
The Western Libraries Catalogue and the University of Toronto Libraries catalogue feature a number of strengths including authority, strong purpose, broad coverage, and good organization. The usefulness of each catalogue to the teen suicide collection will be assessed by a trial search for catalogue items on this topic. Determined to be balanced and representative of the topic, the following search statement was entered into the advanced search feature of each catalogue: (teen* OR adolescen*) AND (suicide). The search was limited to items published in the past five years and in English.
Western Libraries catalogue was explored first. An immediate issue that arose was two different catalogue interfaces are featured, classic catalogue and summons catalogue. Somewhat confusing, the summons interface appears to be a Google centric interface while the classic appears to be a traditional catalogue interface. Two separate advanced searches were conducted in each interface. Exploring both interfaces revealed the summons interface required more work on the part of the searcher to narrow down and retrieve quality results. However, both are...

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