Re: a question of searching...

Karen Gorss Benko (
Wed, 12 Jun 2002 12:34:59 -0700 (PDT)

Well, let's see.... I think a hackle is a hair on the back of the neck. :-)

About library systems and initial articles, though...I don't think it's beating up
users OR bibliographic instructors (the ones I really thought might take umbrage)
to insist that dropping the initial article when constructing an alphabetic list or
conducting an alphabetic search is an essential step. (I wish my local phone book
would learn it...they actually have 13 !! listings beginning with "The." All
businesses, of course. If that were my business, I would be hopping mad that it was
misfiled. Thirteen may not seem like much, but this book serves an area with a
population of probably about 30,000.) Sorry. To get back on track, it's not a
difficult concept, and it IS extremely important.

I certainly agree that the library world needs to demand better service from ILS
developers/vendors. We can't rely on...what do they call them...marketplace forces?
to lead to the development of the best ILS that can be, as long as libraries are
underfunded and especially as long as it is a major undertaking to change systems.
I doubt those two conditions will change in my lifetime, and I hope to live a good
seven or so more decades!


Gary Handman wrote:

> Hi Karen!
> Wonderful having you as a resource on the list. Thanks for these
> comments. My hackles DO stand up (what the hell IS a hackle, anyway?) when
> you say "the answer lies in user education."
> We've beat up our users enough over the years, I think. The answer lies in
> collective economic muscle and advocacy in dealing with catalog vendors or
> systems folks to develop catalogs for the people (right on, bibliographic
> bruthas and sistahs!)... If libraries don't develop systems and standards
> that meet real needs and that look toward the future, we're gonna be left
> in the dust.

Karen Gorss Benko
Catalog Librarian and Russian liaison
Williams College
Williamstown, Massachusetts