Proceedings of the 24th Annual Seminar/Workshop of the Nigerian Library Association, Cataloguing, Classification, and Indexing Section: held at Stella Obasanjo Library Complex, Lokoja, 17th-23rd October, 2004.

Author:Ruteyan, Josiah Oghenero
 
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The theme of this conference was strategies for managing Technical Services in library and information centres. Some of the papers presented at the sessions were:

"Subject Cataloguing and Computerization: Current Trends," by K. I. N. Nwalo of the Department of Library, Archive, and Information Science University of Ibadan. Kwalo defined subject cataloguing as the professional techniques and processes of identifying the subject matter or content of a work and choosing a suitable word or term from a thesaurus to describe the subject. Such a thesaurus or subject heading list is adopted by a bibliographic agency and so all the terms used to describe the subjects of the materials held are selected from such a list. He summarised the need for subject headings, quoting in the words of Aina (2004), that "there are library users who do not know the author and title of the work but are looking for document on particular areas of subject interest." Nwalo makes a clear distinction between descriptive cataloguing and subject cataloguing, and views the former as something that paraprofessionals can do, while subject cataloging should be reserved for professionals.

Nwalo discussed the computerization of subject cataloguing, tracing the history of computerized cataloguing such as LC MARC. The three major phases of computerization of subject cataloguing are:

* CIP Data copying: transferring the cataloguing-in-publication data from the printed book onto a cataloguing worksheet.

* Online cataloguing: searching and locating cataloguing data through international computer networks.

* Cataloguing on the web: allows the local cataloguer access to an unlimited number of bibliographic databases around the world, once such databases are connected to the Internet.

Nwalo highlighted the characteristics of computerised subject cataloguing:

* Increased production

* Sharing of cataloguing data

* Deprofessionalization of the work of cataloguing librarians.

* Reduction in library staff.

Nwalo concluded by saying that it is necessary for libraries all over the world to computerise their operations. In Africa, and Nigeria in particular, no library has been fully automated, and librarians should be ready to face the challenge.

The next paper was delivered by Dr Ibidapo Oketunji titled "Library resources development and the role of information and communication technologies (ICT)." Methods of providing library resources have been static. The advent of computerized systems of communication is making improving the provision of library resources more difficult, because most libraries cannot cope with electronic systems.

ICT focuses on two areas of activity: delivery and support. ICT roles can be summarized as:

* Providing maximum access to collections and services for all existing and potential users regardless of their physical or educational...

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