End of ADS-L Digest - 3 Apr 1994 to 4 Apr 1994 ********************************************** There are 2 messages totalling 77 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. You may find this of interest 2. french again ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 21:00:22 -0700 From: Rudy Troike Subject: You may find this of interest From the Chaucernet: In case you've missed the good old card catalog: Status: R To: IN%"CHAUCER%UICVM.BITNET[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ARIZVM1.ccit.arizona.edu" Date: Mon, 04 Apr 1994 09:40:18 -0500 (CDT) From: "Paul E. Szarmach" [double-posted: ANSAX-L and CHAUCERNET] If you like books, and especially if you like card catalogs, make the effort to get a hold of the April 4 issue of The New Yorker and Nicholson Baker's article "Discards," which begins on p. 64 and saunters through many fine pages to p. 86. It is astonishing to read how the technological revolution has dislocated the enterprise. We all know that the machine is dumb, and so cannot distinguish between the Blessed Virgin Mary and one alleged songbird Ms. Ciccone, who both appear on-line as "Madonna." Baker gives example of such confusions: OCLC has had to purge some 600,000 records, and is still cleaning, to fix such messes up. Baker does not kn ow of one of my faves: the daring and resourceful OEN bibliographer, one C.T. Berkhout of Tucson [and El Alamein], appears in Bingo's ELIXIR under two headings, one indicating that he was born in 1914 and another in 1944. How delicious: the future might argue that in fact there were two Berkhouts, per e et fils, who produced all that fine scholarship--and here I, all these fifteen years and more, have been living in a delusion! Even more remarkable is Baker's account of how OCLC was put together. Libraries, if they chose to participate in sending in online entries, would get "credits" towards the acquisition of entries produced by other libraries. And so Wright State (and others too) flooded OCLC with quick and shoddy records so as to accumulate goodies. The sytem is still trying to recover from a lack of quality control. In the whole process such notions as a "subject" entry become unusable and unwieldy, but more depressing is the discovery that on the average libraries are spending some 30% of their budgets for technology. It aint't them foreign journal publishers alone who done us wrong. There are librarians who do not like books! "To serve you better" has now become a threat! Read 'em and weep. Paulus