Thursday, May 10, 2018

speedy processing books in non-latin scripts

Haskins, Ashley
Lisbon, A. H. (n.d.). Automating Collection Development of Non-Latin Script Materials With Macros. Collection Management., 43(1), 49-63.
Adam Lisbon’s article reviews the uses of automated processes in acquisitions and cataloging. Rather than complex coding, this system relies on macro records which record keystrokes used to complete a task, making it more accessible to a wider librarian audience. This approach aims to support librarians in effectively selecting and processing non-Latin text, to increase speed and efficiency in processing materials outside their area of language expertise. Implementing this system, researchers demonstrated the common limitations and errors to look out for, while demonstrating 9x the overall processing speed with macro data collection. Macros modular nature allows code modification targeted to addressing each new issue as it arises. Because the common errors identified, macro systems can’t be fully automated, and require professional review, but even with this addition, macros are a huge time saver.
This study explored the use of macros, and determined they improved the sought after outcomes. Lisbon suggests further adoption of this process to get more data on it’s limitations, and a continued review of new technologies that may improve the process. The study does not suggest the use of Macros for English text, indicating this is not a preferred method if the cataloger has requisite language knowledge.  While processing books differently based on language seems to provide significant opportunity for inequity, the current system in which librarians spend significant periods of time processing non-Latin books implies a certain prohibition on non-latin acquisitions, since the librarians time is limited and they cannot request more books than they can process. Each system is quite limited, but macros do seem promising as a tool to continue evolving to support acquisition.

Collection development, macros, non-latin script, automated selection

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