Interview with a Senior Librarian on the Premarc Computer System

February 7, 1990 at 3:00 p.m.

Librarian:

– This system is truncated with errors.
– Very often words are under the wrong subject headings.
– There are no cross references.
– Typing and spelling mistakes are rampant.

This Premarc Computer system was compiled by “little old ladies from Scotland” from the Cumulative Title Index on the Shelf list. They used “low-level” typists from Scotland and not librarians. For example, for the word “Airplanes” typed into the Computer system, there are 167 entries; however under the Card Catalogue subject heading “Aeroplane” there are 5,000. Thus the researcher/scholar misses 4,833 books on this subject search. Under the word “women” there are 2,400 entries. However, the Card Catalogue subject heading is under the word “Woman,” of which there are 7,000 books. Thus the researcher loses 4,600 books. There are 64 books incorrectly under the title “UNTIED” and “UNTIDY” States; in lieu of UNITED STATES of America. Another search reveals a loss of 32,OOO + books on one subject. It will take an estimated 23 years and 40 librarians working fulltime to correct this Premarc Computer system.

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