It is generally accepted that applications of mechanization in libraries concern two broadly distinct areas of interest: (a) housekeeping routines, and (b) information retrieval. If the latter is taken to include the retrieval of bibliographical facts and citations the areas cannot, in practice, be wholly differentiated since the required input involves the technical processes of cataloguing and classification, or refinements of them, applied as part of a routine treatment of accessions. With manually operated systems the purist might wish to distinguish these technical processes from routines such as ordering procedures, accession methods, accounting, and stock control. In a mechanized system the distinction becomes meaningless because of the pressure to exploit to the maximum each unit of input.
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