O. C. Oberhauser - Librarian, Information Scientist, Researcher

MSc Dissertation, University of Central England, 2002
AU: Oberhauser, O. C.
OT: Card-Image Public Access Catalogues (CIPACs): A critical consideration of a cost-effective alternative to full retrospective catalogue conversion.
SO: University of Central England, Birmingham, School of Information Studies, 2002.
LA: English
RF: Reardon, D. F. (Academic Supervisor); Henderson, K. (External Examiner)
AB: This dissertation investigates card-image public access catalogues (CIPACs) – online library catalogues based on databases of digitized catalogue cards and more or less sophisticated mechanisms for browsing or searching. Solutions of this kind have been implemented by a number of libraries in various countries since the mid-1990s, mainly as inexpensive alternatives to a full retrospective conversion of their old catalogues. The general aim of the study is to build up an informed view of this area, by looking at the present spreading of CIPACs, their characteristics and navigational features, the problems and issues interconnected with their creation and implementation, and the awareness, behaviour and opinions of CIPAC users. In order to achieve these goals, several approaches were used. First, a comprehensive survey of existing CIPACs and their characteristics was undertaken; this also included the implementation and updating of an international CIPAC web-page. Second, the main issues in CIPAC creation and implementation were identified and discussed, based both on the relevant project literature and the answers of 23 libraries to a short unstructured questionnaire. Third, a web-based qualitative survey of 320 users of eleven CIPACs in four countries was conducted. The study shows that the CIPAC approach has to offer much to libraries that cannot afford to convert their large old catalogues as fast as they might wish. However, the absence of sophisticated search options, the problems that users often have with the interfaces offered for navigation, and the features of a past and mostly outdated generation of reference tools that these computerized card catalogues inherently carry suggest that they are at best acceptable as short or medium-term, but not as permanent alternatives to "real" OPACs.
AV: UCE Library (Birmingham), Call no.: Q REF THESES 025.3132/Obe
Austrian National Library (Vienna), Call no.: ZNEU MAG 1663430-C
UR: Web page with pdf-version

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