A 1968 survey of Association of Research Libraries, some larger Canadian university libraries, and some libraries “where novel treatment of arrearages was known to exist” concerning cataloging arrearages (survey size: 91; responding: 86 or 95%) showed that53 libraries reported arrearages without qualification, while 14 others qualified their reports of arrearages. Thus 67 (78%) respondents reported arrearages, including 83% of the ARL libraries and 62% of the Canadian libraries.                    (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that, of the 67 libraries reporting arrearages, the 3 most frequent factors used to determine whether to include a book in an arrearage were (multiple responses allowed):

                lack of Library of Congress catalog copy (49 or 73.1% respondents),

                publication of a book in a non-Roman alphabet (37 or 55.2%) and provenance,

                including receipt by gift (11 or 16.4%),

                by block purchase including PL 480 (10 or 14.9%),

                or by approval plans (4 or 6.0%).                        (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that, of the 67 libraries reporting arrearages, 36 (53.7%) reported providing entries in the public card catalog for some or all of the books in the arrearage. The remaining 31 respondents reported no such display.                (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that, of the 67 libraries reporting arrearages, 40 (59.7%) libraries reported that they expected the arrearages to continue and increase, while 26 (38.8%) reported that they considered the arrearages temporary. 1 library did not respond to this question.                 (Source)

        Ibid…. showed that, of the 67 libraries reporting arrearages, the majority did not consider permanent cataloging below “LC standard” for books a good idea. Specifically, only 11 (16.4%) respondents reported adopting or planning to adopt such a procedure, while only 3 libraries “indicated clearly” that they were actually implementing permanent cataloging below LC standard.             (Source)

A 1979 survey of academic libraries listed in the 1979 edition of OCLC Participating Libraries Arranged by Network and Institution (survey size: 200 libraries; responding: 166 or 83%) showed thatof 163 respondents the number of backlogged titles awaiting cataloging was as follows:

                less than 1,000 titles                      125 (76.7%) libraries

                1,000-4,999 titles                           22 (13.5%) libraries

                5,000-9,999 titles                             5 (3.1%) libraries

                10,000 or more titles                       11 (6.7%) libraries                   (Source)

Dr. David Kohl

 "Libraries in the digital age are experiencing the most profound transformation since ancient Mesopotamian scribes first began gathering and organizing cuneiform tablets."

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