Library Services in Theory and Context - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080301334, 9781483279701

Library Services in Theory and Context

1st Edition

Authors: Michael K. Buckland
eBook ISBN: 9781483279701
Imprint: Pergamon
Published Date: 1st January 1983
Page Count: 216
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Library Services in Theory and Context provides a theoretical framework for considering the nature of library services. This book is organized into four parts encompassing 16 chapters that focus on the management of library services.

The first part presents some basic problems in librarianship, along with the scope and probable nature of appropriate theory. The second part considers the five key aspects and use of library services, including inquiries, retrieval, the process of becoming informed, the demand for library services, and the allocation of resources to and within library services. The third part deals with the connection and extensions of library services, specifically the problem of achieving internal consistency and the generalizability of conceptual framework to information services. The fourth part reconsiders some of the basic conceptual problems in library services.

This book will be of great value to school administrators and librarians.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Part I: Introduction

Chapter 1 Plan



Chapter 2 Origins and Motivation

Bits and Pieces of Librarianship

Some Fundamental Problems in Library Service

Chapter 3 Scope

Library Services and Information Science

On the Scope of Librarianship

Technology and Theory


Chapter 4 Library Services and Their Users as a System

Library Services as Systems

Controls and Responses

Some Related Systems

Chapter 5 What Sort of Theory?

Theory Defined

‘Unique to’ and ‘Characteristic of’

General Comments on Theory in Library Service

Part II: Analysis

Chapter 6 Inquiries


Response to Inquiries

Types and Taxonomies of Inquiries

Known Item Search and ‘Subject’ Search


Documents as Surrogate Definitions of Desired Knowledge

Urgency and Importance


Chapter 7 Retrieval


Data Retrieval and Document Retrieval

Retrieval Languages I: Notation

Retrieval Languages II: Attributes

Objects, Concepts, and Definability

“Signalling Through Time” and Indirectness

Relatedness, Relevance, Responsiveness, and Retrieval

Scope and Requisite Variety

Competence to Use Retrieval Systems

Chapter 8 Becoming Informed

Information Defined

Barriers to Becoming Informed

The Historical Feature of Retrieved Objects

Misinformation, Harm, and Distress

Limitations on the Helpfulness of Library Services

Chapter 9 Demand


The Real Price

The Double Feedback Loop

The Sensitivity of Demand

Three Patterns of Demand: Scattering, Decay, and Inertia

Chapter 10 Allocation I. Resources, Priorities, and Political Processes


Diffusion, Subversion, and Compromise

Mission, Objective, and Goal

The Separation of Allocation and Use

On the Philosophy of Librarianship

Chapter 11 Allocation II. Fees, Sponsors, and Stability: Notes on the Political Economy of Library Services


The Impact of Fees for Service

Political Dependency

Is Political Support Necessary?

Marketing Among Sponsors

The Role of the User in a Sponsored Service

Back to Price and Stability

Part III: Connections and Extensions

Chapter 12 Connections

The Basic Structure

Provision: A Political and Managerial System

Information Through Retrieval: A Cognitive System

Deciding to Use a Library Service: An Economic System

How are the Three Systems Connected?

Chapter 13 Coherence and Consistency


Searches as Determinants of Library Services

Budgetary Implications

Chapter 14 Measurement and Quantification


Bibliometrics: The Structure of Published Literature and its Usage

Logistics of Document Delivery

Performance of Indexing Systems

Underdeveloped Areas


Chapter 15 Other Sorts of Information Service

Retrieval-Based Information Services Generally

The Flow of Information in Society

Part IV: Some Problems Reconsidered

Chapter 16 Some Problems Revisited

Why do Libraries Differ?

Why aren't Library Services Used more?

How should Catalogs be Evaluated?

How Large should Libraries be?

Adaptability and the Survival of Library Services

Library Goodness


About the Author


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© Pergamon 1983
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Michael K. Buckland

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