Cataloging Tools and Resources- North Texas (CTR-NT)

A survey of the extent and utilization of cataloging tools and resources within technical services in North Texas public libraries


Funded by the OCLC-ALISE Library and Information Science Research Grant Program (LISRG)


Dr. Shawne D. Miksa, Principal Investigator

Toby Faber, Doctoral Research Assistant

Barbara Schultz-Jones, Doctoral Research Assistant


Purpose    Background     Questions and Objectives     Methodology     References   

Many aspects of current cataloging trends and practices in our nationís public libraries have been the subject of numerous studies over the last several decades.  The increase in both traditional and non-traditional information materials, as well as resources unleashed by the Internet and the World Wide Web, have placed an enormous responsibility on those in libraries who control organization and access to these materials, especially within the parameters of current library catalog systems. 

Outsourcing and cooperative cataloging are invaluable to the growth and maintenance of these catalogs, but the involvement of so many in this process has raised questions as to the overall quality and accuracy of the bibliographic records themselves. Furthermore, there seems to be a disturbing trend of complacency when it comes to the assumption that the records gained from these practices are viable and error-free (see Bade, 2002).  

The quality control of all bibliographic records, whether outsourced or original, falls under the responsibility of the catalogers who provide bibliographic control for one or more libraries.  This responsibility in turn greatly depends on the catalogersí knowledge of and expertise with the cataloging tools and resources available to them.  The purpose of this study is to describe the extent and utilization of cataloging tools and resources within technical service departments.  The 73 public libraries in the North Texas Regional Library System (NTRLS) served as the initial sample for development of this description.

In October 2005 we decided to include in our survey the North East Texas Library System (NETLS), in addition to the already surveyed NTRLS.  NETLS has over 150 libraries in its system.  Combined with the 73 libraries in NTRLS we feel this will allow us to make a more definitive assessment of the tool and resource utilization in the libraries in this region of Texas.  (Actual number of respondents will vary, of course).

Dr. Miksa presented some preliminary results of this study at the ALISE Annual Conference in San Antonio, January 2006 and at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Houston, April 2006.

The survey instrument is now available for viewing.  Click here for the pdf file.

Last Modified August 2007