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OBTAINING INFORMATION FROM INQUIRERS

OBTAINING INFORMATION FROM INQUIRERS B Y M. GOYER, PH.D . Librarian, Ministry of Supply, R.A.E./Rocket Propulsion Dept. Summary N E of the difficulties in supplying readers with information is that the readers themselves sometimes only vaguely know what they want. Requests for specific references appear easy, but some readers, un­ trained in library techniques, appear to think that reports, books, etc., are classified by colour, shape or size. Moreover, it has been found that each of the variables in the request data (e.g. author, journal, column, number , date, etc.) is subject to errors of 100 per cent. or more. For this type of aberration it is difficult to find a cure, as it seems to be caused b y the peculiar mental make-up of the scientist and technician. These suffer under the delusion that they have wonderfully accurate memories, whereas, in fact, they ar e endowe d wit h extraordinarily fertile imaginations. Requests for information on specific subjects may be made less trouble- some by applying the advice given in a South African journal, 'Tell your librarian all'. It has proved helpful to find out from a technician-inquirer wh y he wants the information, how much he already knows, and where h e obtained that previous information. These clues decide how a further search should be organized. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives Emerald Publishing

OBTAINING INFORMATION FROM INQUIRERS

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0001-253X
DOI
10.1108/eb049500
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

B Y M. GOYER, PH.D . Librarian, Ministry of Supply, R.A.E./Rocket Propulsion Dept. Summary N E of the difficulties in supplying readers with information is that the readers themselves sometimes only vaguely know what they want. Requests for specific references appear easy, but some readers, un­ trained in library techniques, appear to think that reports, books, etc., are classified by colour, shape or size. Moreover, it has been found that each of the variables in the request data (e.g. author, journal, column, number , date, etc.) is subject to errors of 100 per cent. or more. For this type of aberration it is difficult to find a cure, as it seems to be caused b y the peculiar mental make-up of the scientist and technician. These suffer under the delusion that they have wonderfully accurate memories, whereas, in fact, they ar e endowe d wit h extraordinarily fertile imaginations. Requests for information on specific subjects may be made less trouble- some by applying the advice given in a South African journal, 'Tell your librarian all'. It has proved helpful to find out from a technician-inquirer wh y he wants the information, how much he already knows, and where h e obtained that previous information. These clues decide how a further search should be organized.

Journal

Aslib Proceedings: New Information PerspectivesEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 1, 1953

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