tells you what is not included MICRO MAINTENANCE subject is technically difficult but (selection of reference materials, wishes to ensure that the indicators Microcomputer Management and Mainten weeding in school libraries, and care become adopted so it intends to ance for Libraries, Elizabeth S. Lane, Meckler, and preservation), the articles are then promote the development of courses 1990, 205 pp., £24.50, ISBN 0-88736-522-1. grouped into three areas. The first four and associated course-material on the articles consider reference collection Microcomputers are now vital tools in topic. development in different types of many libraries and information centres A quote from the blurb is library, the second four articles address and they are used not only to facilitate appropriate: "At a time when local policy making decisions, and the last administrative and clerical operations authorities are increasingly turning to five articles consider the practical but also as a means of accessing quantitative methods of setting and aspects of evaluating and weeding informatio n in many different assessing performance standards, this collections. formats. Yet the need for proper manual should become an essential If this volume fuels the philosophy management, control and maintenance working tool for public librarians". It of these machines has not received the of access to information rather than ought, therefore, to have been issued attention it deserves except by way of ownership of materials, it will have in hardback form. served its purpose. passing references in the literature on Wilfred Ashworth the use of microcomputers in libraries. Ian Pettman Elizabeth Lane has attempted to fill the gap with a comprehensive manual. □ On the management side it covers the BRITISH SPOKEN WORD PERFORMANCE planning process, assessment of needs CASSETTES and system requirements, evaluation INDICATORS and cost/benefit analysis, purchase British Words on Tape, 1991. A Directory of Keys to Success: Performance Indicators for and installation, orientation and Spoken Word Cassettes Available in the UK, Public Libraries. A Manual of Performance training, and record keeping. On the Ardis Voegelin-Carleton, editor, Dorothy Measures and Indicators Developed by King maintenance side the subject is divided Dixson, compiler and Catherine Pinion, Research Ltd, Library Information Series No. into preventive maintenance, consultant editor, Meckler, 1990, 161 pp., 18, Office of Arts and Libraries, HMSO, 1990, responsive maintenance, and costs. laminated soft cover, £17.95, ISBN 156 pp., £15, ISBN 0-11-430048-8. Unfortunately, though she has 0-88736-619-8. brought together under these headings This work was commissioned by the This is claimed to be the first the factors which require local Office of Arts and Libraries to help comprehensive guide to spoken word librarians to make the most effective attention and decision, it has proved audio cassettes available in the UK too difficult to give definitive advice use of the resources available to them. and contains over 6,700 entries. which would be generally applicable, Cynics might wonder if the purpose might be to reduce total expenditure Cassettes are listed by title and indexed so her work is more of a checklist than by author and subject but the intended comprehensive guide. It on libraries but, being charitable, is still, however, a useful book which remember that justification of unfortunately there is no index for the expenditure is also a legitimate aim of names of readers. Individual titles will be valuable for those bringing computers into a library environment, performance measurement. Up to the within a collection are cross- to prevent them overlooking vital present, attempts to measure the referenced. Entries contain title, effectiveness of libraries have been factors which could inhibit success if author, reader, and some of the ignored. The book is totally American somewhat haphazard and based on following: contents listing, playing but most of the text would apply questionable presumptions or on time, purchase price, rental price (if comparative measurements. Now, in satisfactorily to libraries in the UK. applicable), order number and the this study, "performance" has been name of the publisher. Such a listing Wilfred Ashworth accurately defined and mathematically will certainly be helpful in tracking examined and it has been found down otherwise elusive information possible to create indicators which but some of the entries in the subject offer valid measurements of the COLLECTION index are so general that they are achievements of a single library or followed by far too many listings. It MAINTENANCE process. Further, assessments can be would be helpful if more specific Weeding and Maintenance of Reference made of the effect of changes in headings were provided in future. Collections, Sydney J. Pierce (Ed.), The processes or operations. The method British Words on Tape has been Haworth Press, 1990, 173 pp., US$29.95, ology is based on complex technical separated out from Meckler's already- ISBN 1-56024-001-6 (a monograph published principles and because these are not established Words on Tape which will simultaneously as The Reference Librarian, easy to understand they have been continue to be published with only US No. 29). relegated to appendices. and Canadian listings. The Weeding has never been a popular The remainder of the text is introduction warns that the entries are activity for the average librarian. We addressed to less numerate librarians derived from information provided by can find all sorts of excuses, it is time and aims to show what performance publishers, and this leads to some consuming (hence expensive), it is indicators are, how they could and inconsistencies of style. difficult, etc. This volume may spur should be applied and, by a series of you on to planned activity before lack examples, demonstrates what can be Wilfred Ashworth of space dictates ad hoc solutions. achieved by their use. The Office of Introduced by an honest editor who Arts and Libraries accepts that the NLW January, 1991 19
New Library World – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1991
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