Library Research Models: A Guide to Classification, Cataloging, and Computers / Edition 1

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Overview

Most researchers, even with computers, find only a fraction of the sources available to them. As Library of Congress reference librarian Thomas Mann explains, researchers tend to work within one or another mental framework that limits their basic perception of the universe of knowledge available to them. Some, for example, use a subject-disciplinary method which leads them to a specific list of sources on a particular subject. But, Mann points out, while this method allows students and researchers to find more specialized sources, it is also limiting—they may not realize that works of interest to their own subject appear within the literature of many other disciplines. A researcher looking through anthropology journals, for example, might not discover that the MLA International Bibliography provides the best coverage of folklore journals.
In Library Research Models, Mann examines the several alternative mental models people use to approach the task of research, and demonstrates new, more effective ways of finding information. Drawing on actual examples gleaned from 15 years' experience in helping thousands of researchers, he not only shows the full range of search options possible, but also illuminates the inevitable tradeoffs and losses of access that occur when researchers limit themselves to a specific method. In two chapters devoted to computers he examines the use of electronic resources and reveals their value in providing access to a wide range of sources as well as their disadvantages: what people are not getting when they rely solely on computer searches; why many sources will probably never be in databases; and what the options are for searching beyond computers.
Thomas Mann's A Guide to Library Research Methods was widely praised as a definitive manual of library research. Ronald Gross, author of The Independent Scholar's Handbook called it "the savviest such guide I have ever seen—bracingly irreverent and brimming with wisdom." The perfect companion volume, Library Research Models goes even further to provide a fascinating look at the ways in which we can most efficiently gain access to our vast storehouses of knowledge.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Noting that most researchers go into a library with subject/discipline blinders on, Mann draws on his work as a general librarian at the Library of Congress to suggest a variety of approaches that can help locate relevant information in unlikely places. He explains how to get fuller use of computers, but also points out the deficiencies of depending solely on them. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195093957
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author: Thomas Mann received his Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago and his M.L.S. from Louisiana State University. A former private investigator, he has been a general reference librarian in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress since 1981. He is the author of A Guide to Library Research Methods.

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Table of Contents

1 The Importance of Models in Concealing or Revealing Search Options 3
2 The Specific Subject or Discipline Model 9
3 The Traditional Library Science Model Part One: The Classification Scheme 15
4 The Traditional Library Science Model Part Two: The Vocabulary-Controlled Catalog 25
5 The Traditional Library Science Model Part Three: Published Bibliographies and Indexes 45
6 The Type-of-Literature Model 57
7 The Actual-Practice Model 75
8 The Principle of Least Effort 91
9 The Computer Workstation Model Part One: The Prospect 103
10 The Computer Workstation Model Part Two: Qualifications 113
11 The Methods-of-Searching Model 151
12 Implications of the Methods-of-Searching Model 181
Appendix 1: Class Z: Arrangement of Bibliographies 193
Appendix 2: Form Subdivisions Within the Library of Congress Subject Headings System 201
Notes 215
Bibliography 221
Index 243
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