In 1989–90, 32 percent of the searches of the electronic catalog at the Vanderbilt University Library yielded “no item found,” that is to say, the searches were “no hits.” More than one million searches were conducted on Vanderbilt's Acorn catalog and mainframe article index service, so more than 300,000 searches ended in “no hits.” Vanderbilt uses the popular NOTIS software for its catalog, but I suspect that other automated systems perform similarly. It would be naive to say that the library catalog is satisfying searchers 68 percent of the time. We need to think of strategies to help the library improve its performance by reducing the rate of “no hits.” When evaluating strategies we should also consider which ones might lower costs.
MCB UP Ltd
Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited