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Dissertation Information for Richard Phillips Palmer

- Richard Phillips Palmer

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) (1970)

- Edmon Low

- Wallace J. Bonk
- Leslie Kish
- Constance O. Rinehart
- Russell E. Bidlack

MPACT Status: Fully Complete


Abstract: This study sought to determine whether or not the users of the University of Michigan’s General Library card catalog would be deprived of any of their necessary of heavily used avenues of access to the library’s holdings or bibliographic information if only a carefully-chosen portion of the items now appearing on the catalog card were transferred to a computer catalog. Specifically, this investigation was concerned with who uses the card catalog, for what purposes, and with what success. It sought information on how items on the catalog card are used and queried catalog users regarding whether a hypothetical five-item computer catalog (consisting of author, title, call number [including location], subject headings, and date of publication) would meet their requirements and, if not, what additional information was desired.

Following a review of twenty –one previous relevant card catalog use studies and surveys, this study undertook an eight-week survey of 5,067 users of the General Library card catalog during the Fall Term, 1967. A two stage probability sampling technique was employed. A check off questionnaire was the survey instrument. Responses on the questionnaires were key-punched and computer tabulated; variance were computed for all variables and the data subjected to statistical tests.

This study found that graduate students were the major users of the catalog and that 84 percent of all users found what they were seeking ad 16 percent did not. The heaviest use of the catalog was for class assignments, followed by research and personal use. Almost 70 percent of catalog use was for known-item searches and less than 30 percent was for subject searches. This finding regarding subject searches is substantially lower than the findings of previous studies. About 18 percent of users were seeking works published prior to 1900. Only author, title and call number were heavily used by patrons; the subject heading was used by less than half and the date of publication by about 36 percent. Except for contents note, edition, and number of volumes, all other items were used by 10 percent or less. As the educational level of the user rises, he conducts more known-item and fewer subject searches, uses slightly more catalog card items, uses more foreign language materials, uses more works of older publication dates, and desires more items in the hypothetical computer catalog.

Of those who were successful in their use of the card catalog, 84 percent would have found a five-item computer catalog sufficient. If the contents note were added to the catalog, over 90 percent would have found a six-item computer catalog sufficient. This study, therefore, finds that most users of the card catalog would be successful with a reduced computer catalog. However, further research is recommended before such a catalog is designed or developed.

MPACT Scores for Richard Phillips Palmer

A = 5
C = 0
A+C = 5
T = 5
G = 1
W = 5
TD = 5
TA = 0
calculated 2010-10-05 18:55:58

Advisors and Advisees Graph

Directed Graph

Students under Richard Phillips Palmer

- Scott Bruntjen - Simmons College (1975)
- Michael Ochs - Simmons College (1975)
- Paul H. Gaboriault - Simmons College (1976)
- Ronald G. Heroux - Simmons College (1977)
- Toby Pearlstein - Simmons College (1986)