Susan E. Ketcham
In cataloging departments across the country, many librarians are facing a critical decision—is the utilization of CD-ROMs (CDs) and the Internet to find MARC records as part of the day-to-day operation feasible?
Are catalogers already taking advantage of this new technology? If not, why not? What impact, if any, does this technology have on workload? Can it be used by technical services librarians to help perform their work more efficiently?
To answer these and other questions related to the utilization of developing technologies, a survey was developed and mailed to 204 libraries. The participating libraries were categorized by holdings: under 100,000 volumes, 100,000–499,000 volumes, 500,000–999,000 volumes, and over one million volumes; and by professional cataloger staff size: less than 1, 1 1–2, 3–5, 6–9, and 10 or more. In all, 108 surveys were returned for a 53 percent response rate.
Before determining whether catalogers are using ‘‘new’’ technology, it is interesting to ascertain whether they are using ‘‘old’’ technology. When asked whether they currently use a bibliographic utility such as Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) for cataloging, 96 percent reported that they do. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority (84 percent) of those catalogers who responded yes to the above question, listed OCLC as their bibliographic utility. Other bibliographic utilities named were: Western Library Network (WLN) (6