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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Library News Jan 31, 1971

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Volume IV, No. 1
December-January, 1970-71
Vancouver, B.C.
This newsletter is published as an information service for UBC faculty, students and other readers outside the
Library. It contains feature articles and news about developments in the Library system which we feel will be of interest
or concern to the larger community. The News welcomes all comments, criticisms, and suggestions for future articles.
Each year, after the start of the fall term, a Senate Library Committee is appointed. Its chief function is to
advise and assist the University Librarian, and more specifically to:
1) help develop a general program of library service for the interests of the University
2) advise on the allocation of book funds to the various fields of instruction and research
3) help formulate a policy for the development of library resources in these fields
4) keep informed about library needs of instructional and research staff
5) aid in keeping the academic community informed about the Library..:
The Committee is made up of four ex officio members (the University President, Chancellor, Registrar and
Librarian) and a number of Senate members, including students. On December 16 the names of this year's student members were announced, so a full membership list can now be given:
Dr. M.F. McGregor (Chairman)
Mr. W.M. Armstrong
Mrs. A. Brearley
Dr. D.G. Brown
Mr. F.J. Cairnie
Dr. D.H. Chitty
Dr. W.C. Gibson
Dr. J.M. Kennedy
Dr. A.J. McClean
Mr. K.R. Martin
Dr. S. Rothstein
Miss Drina Allen
Mr. John J. Campbell
Department of Classics
Deputy President
School of Librarianship
Department of Philosophy
B.C. Teachers' Federation
Department of Zoology
Department of the History of Medicine and Science
Computing Centre
Faculty of Law
Management Research (Western) Limited
School of Librarianship
Student, 4th year Science
Student, 3rd year Arts
As always, Committee decisions that directly affect library users will be reported in this newsletter.
The Main Library's Map Division, unknown territory to many readers, can supply material covering a surprisingly wide range of subject fields. Its staff also prepare bibliographies listing the Division's holdings in certain areas. Two
recent ones are Linguistic Atlases and Atlases and Gazetteers for use in Asian Studies. For copies, please call local 2231
or visit the Map Division on the top floor of the south wing.
A few months ago it was learned that the new Sedgewick Undergraduate Library, now under construction, had
already won a major national award. It was one of 12 projects selected from a total of 209 entries in the Canadian
Architect Yearbook's annual design competition. The 1970 Yearbook is now available in the Fine Arts Division. Each of the 12 winning designs has been given
extensive coverage. The section on Sedgewick shows detailed floor plans of the new building and photographs of the
interior and exterior of Rhone & Iredale's scale model. Also included are brief statements from the three judges on their
reasons for choosing Sedgewick. Here are their comments:"-
James A. Murray, editor of Canadian Architect.
"Possibly the most interesting and prescient of all the projects submitted. The difficult problem of
infill is handled with imagination and sensitivity. Many projects and problems could benefit from the
lesson of this solution . . . . "
Douglas Shadbolt, Director of Carleton University's School of Architecture.
"A most impressive solution to a very complex problem. The very simple structure of the building
totally integrated with the landscaping produced the least possible interference with existing buildings
or surroundings and yet improves the function of each. This is a superb example of architectural
ingenuity and humility."
Douglas C. Rowland, noted Canadian architect.
"The most sophisticated of several entries of this nature, the scheme provides, in addition to the
required library,... an imaginative linkage between buildings on the campus while preserving elements
of the existing landscape. A most sensitive development of the non-building prototype."
The architects' model of the new library and its surroundings is still on display outside the Ridington Room,
iust up the stairs from the Fine Arts Division.
j       r
Something new has been added to the Social Sciences reference collection. On top of a filing cabinet near the
public service desk is a smaller metal file marked Deadline Data on World Affairs. Inside are over 8,000 5" x 8" cards
giving comprehensive and constantly updated coverage of the foreign and domestic, political and economic affairs of
every nation in the world. Also covered are all important international political organizations, conferences, alliances and
treaties. Other cards are made for special topics of world interest: "Arab refugees", "Cold war"'Disarmament",
"European integration", "Oil", "Territorial waters", and many others.
All information on any given topic will be found in one place in the card file, under the name of the country,
organization, conference, alliance, etc. It is gathered together in chronological order, and each subject is generally
covered right from its beginnings or from the earliest pertinent data.
The sources used include authoritative newspapers, scholarly journals, government publications, and other
reliable books and periodicals. All comments, facts, news items and statistical data are documented.
Deadline Data is an excellent basic source of both current and background information, and should be
particularly useful to readers working in history, economics and political science.
The November News mentioned that extra coin-operated copiers were to be added in the Main and Woodward
Libraries. These have now been installed. Woodward's new SCM is located on the main floor beside the old one, and
another SCM has been placed inside the entrance to stack level 3 in the Main Library.
The third machine is here for a 3-month trial period. It is an Olivetti, which makes copies for 5^ a sheet like the
SCM's, but offers users a choice of 11" or 14" paper. This one is on stack level 5 near the other SCM machines.
 . j
For the past two years the UBC library system has been subscribing to two of the world's most comprehensive
drug information services, Drugs in Research and Drugs in Use. Only a few other Canadian libraries hold either one.
Published by the New York firm of Paul de Haen, Inc., they give pharmacologists and other medical researchers speedy
access to data which would otherwise be available only through extensive literature searches.
The two services collect and process information from over 400 biomedical publications, as well as medical
conference reports, trade papers and manufacturers' announcements. All of this material is brought together on index
cards, which are grouped by therapeutic classes and pharmacologic categories. Cross-references are also provided for
various drug uses. Drugs in Research provides readers with cumulative references to published papers on drugs which have not been
marketed in the United States. About 2,400 of these citations are furnished each year. In addition, de Haen supplies a
special product information card which brings together data on nomenclature and worldwide marketing of each drug in
the system. Annual indexes list and cross-reference the drugs under the terms readers find most useful (nonproprietary
names, abbreviated chemical names, trademarks, etc.)
Drugs in Use presents its information in much the same way, but concentrates on three specific areas of interest:
the therapeutic use and efficacy of each drug, its toxicology and clinical pharmacology. Subscribers to Drugs in Use also
receive the index card system Drugs in Combination (U.S.), which furnishes data on clinical studies with combination ■
drupJBoth of these systems bring together the major facts of drug use in humans as reported in the scientific literature,
and make it easy for users to tell whether or not important information has been published.
•  Besides their obvious uses in medical and pharmaceutical research, UBC's de Haen subscriptions play a vital role
in B-C. hospitals. Staff members at the campus Poison Control Centre use de Haen data to prepare and update the Centred
master file of cards indexing poisons and antidotes. Duplicate sets of these cards are maintained in 48 B.C. hospitals,
where they are a major aid in the treatment of poisoning cases.
Although the de Haen information systems are housed in the Poison Control Centre rather than in a campus
library, they may be used by students, faculty, local doctors and researchers, and anyone else needing quick reference
data on drugs. For more information, visit the Centre in Room 171 of the Cunningham Building or call their staff at
local 2789.
A new display has been mounted in the Special Collections Division, showing a type collection of the Canadian
decimal coinage. The collection, now almost complete, has been assembled from coins, and the proceeds from coins,
bequeathed to the University at various times. No Library or other University funds have been tapped for the material,
which was assembled in unpaid time. It is housed under a plate glass panel in the front counter, accompanied by
historical and descriptive notes.
All specimens are in EF* (Extra Fine) condition or better, with the single exception of the "godless" fifty-cent
piece of 1911, of which we are contenting ourselves with a VF (Very Fine) example.
For the non-numismatically oriented reader, EF (and its equivalents in various languages) is a beautiful grade with only minimal
wear to the high spots of an otherwise immaculate coin. It is one step below "Uncirculated", although in modern parlance a so-
called AU condition (About or Almost Uncirculated) has crept into the North American hierarchy —probably at the instigation
of dealers seeking to promote attractive items and raise prices!
, As the Library's book collection grows, its central public record, the Main Card Catalogue, must expand too.
This simple principle can have drastic consequences. Currently our library system adds about 150,000 volumes each year,-
and these generate enough author, title, subject and location cards to fill 8 large catalogue cabinets. Even now the Main
Card Catalogue, with 80 cabinets, fills a room measuring 45 by 100 feet. If the present rate of growth continues, the
catalogue will almost double in size by 1980.
Although the catalogue is growing at a rate which many find alarming, there is still a gap between the time a book
reaches the shelf and the time its cards are actually filed. To deal with this, the Library puts out daily, weekly and monthly
computer print-outs that give the latest information on book holdings, call numbers and locations. The most recent addition is a three-volume listing of all books catalogued between January 1 and November 30,1970. Monthly supplements
are planned.
With print-outs like these available, many readers are beginning to ask why such computer listings could not
eventually replace the Main Card Catalogue altogether. The advantages of a multi-volume, computer-produced book
catalogue are easy to see. The whole set could be stored in a comparatively few feet of shelf space, freeing the rest of the
Main Concourse for other uses. Even if other areas in the library system retained small card files, a master book catalogue
would greatly reduce the amount spent on card reproduction and filing. It would eliminate most of the Library's expensive catalogue cabinets, which cost close to $ 1,000 apiece. Daily, weekly and monthly updating could be done automatically, much as it is now. Most readers would find a book catalogue faster and easier to scan than a card file, and it
would certainly be more accessible. If the Main Card Catalogue were put out in printed form, the Library would be able
to make duplicate sets available to readers all over campus — something that could never be done with a massive card file. It is true that the catalogue could be converted to book form. The equipment is available, and the Systems
Division has already produced a 9-volume printed catalogue listing the holdings of the Recordings Collection. However,
the success of this catalogue rests on three factors: the small size of the collection (15,000 items); the limited amount of
information necessary for each entry; and the lack of demand for up-to-the-minute information on holdings.
In contrast, the Main Card Catalogue lists about 650,000 titles. Converting each entry to machine-readable
form would be a monumental job. Even if the Library were willing to undertake it, more problems would be in store.
Like most large academic libraries, UBC holds materials in a wide variety of languages and alphabets: Cyrillic, Chinese,
Arabic, and so on. Entries in a conventional card catalogue can reproduce these scripts, but there is still no really satisfactory way of converting them into machine-readable form and printing out acceptable author and title entries.
■ Academic libraries must also provide much more detailed biblographic descriptions in their catalogues if they are
to meet readers' needs. Putting all of this information in machine-readable form is not an easy job, and its most obvious
effect is a huge increase in the size of the printed catalogue.
If the production of entries for a computer-based book catalogue poses problems, really accurate and consistent
mechanized filing of those entries is almost as hard to achieve. The alphabetical arrangement in a card catalogue is governed by a complex set of rules. All of these are necessary to maintain consistency in filing and an organization of entries
that is logical, if not always readily understood by catalogue users. In a book catalogue there is a need for at least a similar
pattern of filing. However, libraries developing or using computer-based catalogue systems have found it very costly to. -
program a set of rules that would provide this.
The drawbacks mentioned above are enough to make any large university library think twice about going over to
a computer-produced catalogue. For UBC the deciding factor has been the cost. It would take close to one million dollars
to develop the programs and systems necessary for production of a book catalogue, and to key in the data from the Main
Card Catalogue.
Even if this initial cost could be met, the annual expenses for printing, binding, updating and reprinting the book
catalogue would be substantially greater than the cost of maintaining the present card catalogue. The basic printed catalogue
would run to 200 volumes or more, and probably several sets would be required for the Main Concourse alone. (The card
catalogue has 3,650 drawers, and it is not uncommon for two or more readers to need the same one at the same time. If the
physical size of the catalogue were greatly reduced, the number of duplicate sets would have to be increased.) Adding even
one set in each branch library would bring the total to between 15 and 20.
Inevitably, all of them would be out of date by the time they were printed. While card catalogues can be altered
daily as call numbers are revised and books are added, withdrawn or moved, no such amendments are possible in book-type
catalogues. If the Library wished to keep readers up-to-date, it would have to issue daily supplements to its basic book
catalogue, with larger weekly and monthly cumulations. This would mean that readers would never be sure of having
accurate information unless they checked the book catalogue and all its supplements as well. The only way the Library
could reduce the number of supplements issued and still give efficient service would be to reprint the entire 200-volume
catalogue, with additions, at frequent intervals. Either way, the annual cost would be enormous. Stanford University, for
instance, spent slightly over 94^ per title on the 1967 edition of its book catalogue for the Meyer Undergraduate Library.
(This year, incidentally, Stanford announced that it could not afford an annual reprint.) In contrast, the annual cost of
maintaining and updating the Main Card Catalogue works out-to 20^ per title.-'
It is these factors, taken together, which have generally discouraged libraries of over 100,000 titles from converting to printed catalogues. Howeyer, some feel that the computer may yet replace the card catalogue, even in large research
Several libraries are already designing for on-line, real-time, terminal inquiry of catalog data held in
computer storage areas. The computer input is the same as that for a book catalogue, but time-sharing
will now permit the library user to have direct access to the computer information. No delays result
from photographic schedules, reproduction time, and the binding process. Real-time inquiry will be a
common sight during the 1970's.
David C. Weber, "Book catalog trends in 1966," Library
Trends, XVI (July, 1967), 162.
Not all libraries are as optimistic. Even if the technological problems had all been solved — and this is not the
case — the costs of storage and computing time are still too high to make a really comprehensive on-line catalogue system
feasible for a large library. However, on-line techniques are already being used on a limited scale. At Simon Fraser University readers find out if a book has been borrowed by keying its call number into a console. The computer then flashes
the latest loan information onto a screen. In time the cost of computer use might drop enough to make some type of on-line system feasible at UBC.
Although much of the card catalogue would probably have to be retained, the printed loan list, Shelf List and Location
File could go on-line. Users would then be able to key in a call number and find out immediately how many copies the
library system held, where they were located, and which ones were out on loan. However, costs and benefits will have to
be very carefully weighed before the Library commits itself to a project of this size.
Many useful answers could come from a study now being carried out by the Yale University Library. Its main
purpose is to examine the feasibility of replacing a large card catalogue with computers. There is still no hint as to whether
the conclusions will favour computer-produced printed catalogues, full or partial on-line systems, or simply the retention
of the old-style card catalogue. One thing is certain: when the final report does come out, it will give major libraries a
valuable and badly-needed set of guidelines for future systems planning.
During the past year the News published over 80 notes and articles on aspects of the UBC Library system. Most
provided information which could not be found in other library guides or handbooks.
All articles which might still be of interest to readers are listed in this annual index. For reprints of any item,
please write the Editor or call 228-2077. -
— new procedures for buying dissertations (Nov.)
Annual Report of the Librarian to the Senate
- extracts from the 1968/69 Report (Jan., Feb.)
Blind, library for SEE Crane Memorial Library
Borrowers' cards
— no longer required at stack entries (Jan.)
— new, long-term cards issued (Aug./Sept.)
Borrowing privileges
— results of user survey (May)
— faculty loan policies to be reviewed (May)
— UBC grads and faculty may borrow from SFU (May, June/July)
Catalogue use study SEE Subject Catalogue use study
— B.C. university libraries begin shared cataloguing (Mar.)
— shared cataloguing program expands (June/July)
Center for Research Libraries, Chicago
— description of resources available to UBC Library users (Apr.)
Company reports
— UBC Library's holdings (Jan.)
Computers and print-outs
— computer listing of newly catalogued books (Oct.)
— progress report on computer study of borrowing patterns (Oct.)
— B.C. university libraries exchange computer programs (Oct.)
Copying services
— guide to library services and charges (Nov.)
— new photocopiers added (Nov.)
Crane Memorial Library for the Blind
— receives $4,400 from 1970 grad class (Apr.)
— receives donation from Dean of Women's office (May)
— progress report (Aug./Sept.)
— begins newsletter (Nov.)
' Curriculum Laboratory
— filmstrip loans (Jan.)
Delayed subscriptions SEE Serials
Dissertations SEE Acquisitions
Faculty publications
— annual listing to be discontinued (Apr.)
Filmstrips SEE Curriculum Laboratory
Government Publications
— new checklist of B.C. government publications available (Apr.)
Interest profiles and professional reading SEE SDI service
Library cards SEE Borrowers' cards
Library holdings SEE UBC Library: holdings
Library orientation
— report on summer programs (June/July)
— report on fall programs (Sept./Oct.)
— underground newspaper collection added (Aug./Sept.)
Photocopying SEE Copying services
Reading lists
— guide to preparation (Nov.)
Reference publications
— selected list of library reference publications (Aug./Sept.)
— notes on new reference publications (Jan., Nov.)
SDI service (computer-produced reading lists for researchers)
— now in operation at UBC
Sedgewick Undergraduate Library
— preliminary drawings for new library approved (May)
— design wins architectural award (June/July)
— report on construction (Aug./Sept.)
— delayed subscriptions (Apr.)
— free copies of 1969 Serial Holdings list available (Nov.)
Shared cataloguing SEE Cataloguing
Special Collections Division
— notes on holdings and displays (Jan., May, June/July, Oct.)
— space crisis in Main Library bookstacks (Feb.)
— storage plans announced (Oct.)
— 50,000 volumes go into storage (Nov.)
Subject Catalogue use study
— report (May)
UBC Library: history
— outline of library growth, 1915 -1970 (Mar.)
UBC Library: holdings
— statistics (Mar.)
— current volume count and estimates of adequacy (Oct.) .; — Auerbach Information series on computers (Oct.)
— Biblia pauperum (Mar.)
— Carroll/Pali, Alice in Wonderland (Jan.)
— Current Contents service (June/July)
— Harvey, De motu cordis (June/July)
— RAND publications (Oct.)
— underground newspapers on microfilm (Aug./Sept.)
UBC Library: service hours
— hours for Main Library and branches until May, 1971 (Aug./Sept.)
Woodward Biomedical Library
— new addition opens, construction of adjacent building planned (June/July)
Xeroxing SEE Copying services
Editor: Mrs. E. de Bruijn Information & Orientation Division 1
■;.'     ■•■   .
■     ■


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