Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE

Library Services in Theory and Context

Michael Buckland

2nd Edition, Copyright © 1988, 1999 Michael Buckland


Preface to the Second Edition

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 services
A final paradox

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: Collections
Richness and diversity
The purpose of library materials
Library materials as evidence
Interpretation and summarizing of evidence
Implications for library service
Material versus collection
Collection as the first stage of retrieval
Collection development decisions
Preservation and conservation
Collections and the changing technology of library materials
Individual collections in context
Chapter 8: Retrieval
Definition: the retrieval process
Data retrieval and document retrieval
Retrieval languages I: Notation
Retrieval languages II: Attributes
Objects, concepts, and definability
"Signaling through time" and indirectness
Relatedness, relevance, responsiveness, and retrieval
Requisite variety
Competence to use retrieval systems
Chapter 9: Becoming Informed
Information defined
Knowledge and opinion as belief
Barriers to becoming informed
The historical features of retrieved objects
Misinformation, harm, and distress
Limitations on the helpfulness of library services
Chapter 10: Demand
The real price
The double feedback loop
The sensitivity of demand
Three patterns of demand: scattering, decay, and inertia
Chapter 11: 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 12: Allocation II. Fees, Sponsors, and Stability: Notes on the Political Economy of Library Services
The impact of fees for service
Political dependence
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 13: 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 14: Coherence and Consistency
Searches as determinants of library services
Budgetary implications
Chapter 15: Access
Inquiry, resource, user
Six aspects of access
Chapter 16: Measurement and Quantification
Bibliometrics: the structure of published literature and of its usage
Logistics of documentary delivery
Performance of indexing systems
Underdeveloped areas
Bibliographic postscript
Chapter 17: Technology
The role of technology
The technology of paper and cardboard
Some implications of technological change
Chapter 18: Change
Some assumptions
Some examples of stability
Three sorts of change
The extent and academic context of librarianship
Chapter 19: Other Sorts of Information Service
Retrieval-based information services generally
The flow of information in society

Part IV: Some Problems Reconsidered

Chapter 20: Some Problems Reconsidered
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

Bibliographical Note

About the Author

Copyright © 1988, 1999 Michael K. Buckland.
Document maintained at by the SunSITE Manager.
Last update April 14, 1999. SunSITE Manager: