Cover: Book Catalogs: A Survey of the Literature on Costs.

Book Catalogs: A Survey of the Literature on Costs.

Published 1971

by Helen J. Waldron

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Compares costs of producing a library catalog in book form rather than as a card file, assuming availability of appropriate computer service and a machine-readable data base. One of the few clearcut facts that consistently emerged in this survey of over 50 sources is that phototypesetting is cheaper, as well as more readable, than computer printout. Only 14 articles, 5 reports, and 3 books provided any cost data; the 12 selected for extensive analysis were not fully comparable, and most were incomplete. It seems clear, however, that book catalogs are economically sound only when widely distributed. Unlike card catalogs, additional copies cost little. However, book catalogs cannot be kept as current. Either new editions must constantly reprint old material, or a basic volume must be followed by supplements that quickly become inconvenient to search. An annotated reference list is appended. 26 pp. (MW)

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