UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Library News Apr 30, 1978

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Volume 11, No. 1
April 1978
Vancouver, B.C.
In his annual report to Senate on March 22nd, the University Librarian stated: "... the computerization of the card
catalogue is no longer just an option, but a necessity. The Library cannot find the staff time to continue to maintain it,
nor in many locations the physical space to house it. "In January alone, the Library filed 90,000 catalogue cards and still
had a backlog of over 100,000 cards to file. Last year nearly a million and a half cards were needed to describe new accessions to the collection. These cards were produced, pre-sorted for filing, filed, that filing checked — all labour intensive
and therefore expensive operations. Cabinets to hold the cards and floor space to house the cabinets provided related and
equally vexing problems. This situation is by no means unique to the UBC Library. Other libraries, including those at
the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University, have already opted to computerize their library catalogues.
Master records of library holdings are kept in a computer file rather than a card file. Access to the records is provided by
a microcatalogue (see next story). Moreover, their experience has been positive.
UBC Library will computerize its catalogue, beginning with records for books published in 1978. At present our plan is
not to simply "freeze" the card catalogues, as has happened in other large libraries. Instead, the card catalogues will remain in place and we will continue to produce and file cards for books published in 1977 and earlier. For example, if we
buy a book this year that was published in 1940, its record will appear in the card catalogues. In addition, we will completely maintain all card files that are kept in call number order (shelf lists and the location file in the Main Library;
sometimes called classed files. See the bottom of page 3 for a note on the troubles we have naming catalogues.)
In the Asian Studies Library, the card catalogues will be kept up to date for books published both before and after
1978 (at least until the computer masters Chinese characters). Oversize cards for Crane Library will also continue to be
Library people are not without nostalgia for the card catalogue. After all, its history (so they say) goes back to the
French Revolution when the new government, confiscating both books and playing cards, kept a record of one upon the
other. Nevertheless, we can't help but feel excited about the new microcatalogue as a flexible and easy medium for
locating books on our shelves.
Starting in May, materials dated 1978 or later will appear in the Library's computer produced microcatalogue rather
than in the traditional card catalogue. The computer will print the catalogue on sheets of film called microfiche: the
same medium currently used for the Library's circulation lists, in-process lists, and Sedgewick's course file. Since each
microfiche is divided into 208 "pages", listing a total of about 6,000 books, a "reader"must be used to magnify the print.
You may already be familiar with the Library's present microfiche files; if not, staff at the Information Desk will be glad
to give you a few pointers.
Apart from considerations of money and space, the microcatalogue has one very important advantage over traditional card catalogues: multiple copies of the
microcatalogue can be provided throughout the Main Library (including the stacks) and
in all the branches. It's well within the realm of possibility that copies might be made
available to locations outside the library, such as private or departmental offices. Readers
cost about $275 and a single fiche costs only about 30 cents to reproduce.
The microcatalogue will present information about the Library's holdings in much the
same way as the card catalogue. Each entry will give a book's title, subtitle, author, edition, date, paging, series, Call number, location, jand copies. We hope the inclusion of
location information will save time for library users, as it will eliminate the need to check
the location file before heading to the stacks. I
Some information will not appear in the microcatalogue (publisher, paging of the bibliography, illustrations) because
it is infrequently required. That information will still be available if needed from the location (classed) file, in which a card giving a full bibliographic description will be filed.
Those who are really accustomed to the card catalogue may notice that the computer files entries in a strictly
alphabetical order, rather than by the special filing rules observed in the card catalogue. For example, Mac and Mc will
not be interfiled; roman numerals will file as if they were words (George IX before George VI).
There are many details about the microcatalogue to be worked out. What you see initially may not be the final format.
However, we'll keep you posted on new developments and we'll welcome your suggestions.
A new organization, the Canadian Institute for Historical Reproductions, has been recently endowed by Canada
Council. Its purpose is to make printed material for Canadian studies readily available to scholars and students all across
Canadian imprints before 1900 will be reproduced on high quality microfiche and made available to libraries at low
cost. Materials selected for microfilming (books, pamphlets, newspapers, broadsides) will relate to published
bibliographies. In addition, a short title catalogue of the microfiche collection is planned.
University Librarian, Basil Stuart-Stubbs, has been instrumental in the preparation of guidelines for the new institute
and has now been named to its board of directors. Ramsay Cook, a noted Canadian historian, will serve as president.
Science Division in the Main Library now subscribes to the following U.S. Department of Energy abstracting and indexing services. These cover scientific and technical reports, journal articles, conference papers and proceedings, books,
patents, theses, and monographs.
ZTJ 810 Solar energy update (1977-; monthly) Covers literature on tidal and wind energy as well as
P83 on solar energy.
ZTP 315 Fossil energy update (1977-; monthly)
ZTK 1041 Geothermal energy update (1977-; monthly)
HD 9545 Energy abstracts for policy analysis (Nov.   1974-; monthly) Covers literature analyzing
E53 energy research, conservation, and policy.
ZTJ 153 Energy research abstracts (July 1976-; semimonthly) Mainly covers literature generated by
E4785 U.S.   Department of Energy sponsored research;  also includes literature generated by
research sponsored by other U.S. federal government agencies and international literature
on atomic power.
Women's affairs and bubonic plague provide the themes for two new rare book displays in Woodward Library. The
display on women (obstetrics and gynecology) features books published before 1800 and a collection of old obstetric instruments.
Dean Peter Larkin, Faculty of Graduate Studies, was elected Chairman of the Senate Library Committee this January.
He is the the third Chairman in thirty years: Malcolm McGregor held the post from 1969 to April 1977; Ian McTaggart
Cowan was Chairman from 1947 to 1969.
Laurenda Daniells will represent UBC's professional librarians in the Senate beginning April 1st. Hers is a new seat;
Senate voted in November to give full time librarians an elected seat in addition to the ex-officio seat held by the University Librarian.
The Librarian's annual report was presented to Senate March 22. The report emphasizes the serious effect of major
economic trends — continued inflation, fall of the Canadian dollar, decline in hours of staff time — on Library operations. The future is predicted to hold "continuing reductions in library services and in the scope of collections
development." The major role that UBC Library has played in the province-wide sharing of library resources is also
The Library has recently created a key word index to its holdings of the Minutes of the Vancouver City Council
(February 1975-). The minutes and index will be held by the Social Science Division in the Main Library. Ask a librarian
for help.
The minutes are a storehouse of information on city planning and development, politics, and finances.
Vancouver's Renaissance music group, The Town Waytes, on their recent record release, "May I Have The Pleasure"
(KVP Records KVP 703G — quite a good one and available locally) thanked the Music Library for the use of its resources
in their music production in general and the recording in particular.
Another music group, the Cecilian Ensemble, recently thanked the Music Library for the use of its early music
resources (the most extensive for a long way east in Canada) in connection with their music making over the past few
And Ralf Kelman, the light expert, in a lecture he presented recently at Douglas College, cited the UBC Music Library
as one of, if not the worst lit in all his experience. He used slides of the library to demonstrate the artificial lighting
overkill, the total lack of natural light, and the generally inhumane, disgusting "100%-too-brightedness" of the whole
Music Library staff can only agree. (Staff in Woodward and Sedgewick have similar complaints.) Planners, architects,
committee members, please note: despite automation, libraries are still for people.
In the first two months following the introduction of reduced rates for UBC students, library divisions and branches
did 179 on-line computer searches for students, most of them at a $5.00 flat fee. Almost half of the searches involved data
bases relevant to the life sciences, with the remainder evenly distributed among the pure and applied sciences, social
sciences, and law. The Library has subsidized the student searches by paying about two-thirds of the outside costs. If
possible, the special rates will be continued beyond the original three-month trial period.
A sample survey was recently completed to estimate the amount of serial duplication in the library collections of
University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser, and University of Victoria. It was found that 32% of Simon Fraser titles
and 24% of University of Victoria titles are not held at University of British Columbia. Simon Fraser has a strong collection of underground periodicals that is unique in the province.
The survey is a first step towards a province-wide union list of serials.
Some of the impetus for UBC's 1978 move to an automated catalogue was provided by the British Columbia Union
Catalogue Project (BCUC). This project is funded by the Ministry of Education to provide improved access to library
resources all over the province.
To date seven libraries have joined the project: UBC, Simon Fraser, University of Victoria, British Columbia Institute
of Technology, Vancouver Community College, and Richmond Public. These libraries share cataloguing copy through
linked computer files. An annual computer produced microfiche catalogue will provide public information on the
holdings of all participating libraries.
A preliminary BCUC catalogue will be available in the Main Library later this month. Primarily listing SFU and BCIT
holdings, it will be divided into author, title, and subject listings.
THE NAMING OF CATALOGUES (T.S. Eliot with minor revisions)
The Naming of Catalogues is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a catalogue must have three different names.
When you notice a cataloguer in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
Her mind is engaged in rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of a name
An ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name. REMINDER
Library materials due on or before April 10 will be included in the end of term call-in to be issued in mid-April. If you
return books by April 10 you should not receive the call-in notice. However, occasionally books find their way back to the
stacks without being discharged from the computer record, and a call-in notice is therefore produced. If you should
receive such a notice, please let us know so that our records can be corrected.
You may wish to renew books and keep them out over the summer; if you do not plan to be in your office every day,
please arrange to have your office mail checked in case we need to call in a book for another borrower.
The following items are needed to complete the Library's holdings:
Canada and the World, vol. 41, no. 6, 9 (1976). vol. 42, no. 2 (1976)
Canadian Federation of University Women. Chronicle. 1950/51 - 1951/52, 1953/54, 1967/68-1973/74
Canadian Historical Review, vol. 58, no. 2 (1977)
Canadian Labour History, no. 1 (1971); no. 3 (1973)
Canadian Society for the Study of Education. C S S E News, all issues, vol. 1 to end of 1976
Focus on Exceptional Children, vol. 6, no. 2, 9 (1974?); vol. 7, no. 9 (1975?)
Forum (formerly Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation. Bulletin) vol. 1, no. 4 (1975)
Industrial Education (U.S.A.) vol. 64, no. 6-10 (1975); vol. 65, no. 2-5, 7-9 (1976); vol. 66, no. 2 (1977)
Malahat Review, no. 41 (Jan. 1977) "The Atwood Issue"
National Geographic Magazine, vol. 129, no. 3, 5-6 (1966); vol. 136, no. 3-5 (1969); vol. 143, no. 5-6 (1973); vol. 151,
no. 3, 5 (1977)
New York Times Book Review. Aug. 15, 22, 29; Sept. 5, 19, 26; Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 1976
New Yorker, vol. 52, no. 48-52 (1977)
Newsweek, vol. 86, no. 21, 23 (Nov.-Dec. 1975)
Observer Magazine. Dec. 12, 1976
Science news. vol. 102, no. 25 (Dec. 1972); vol. 104, no. 2, 16, 24 (July, Oct., Dec, 1973); vol. 106, no. 8, 9 (1974); vol.
110, no. 11 (Sept. 1976); vol. Ill, no. 12, 18 (Feb., April 1977); vol. 112, no. 7, 11 (Aug. 1977)
If you can supply any of these, please telephone Graham Elliston, Local 2304.
Editor: L. Bryant Information and Orientation Division
ISSN 0382-0661


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