A total of 1641 questionnaires were mailed in March 1990 to members of the US Medical Library Association and the European Association of Health Libraries and Librarians, requesting information on the status of automating the processing of serials and books. Of the 1641 questionnaires mailed, 626 (38%) valid responses were received for analysis. Depending on geographic area, between 37% and 46% of the medical libraries surveyed process all serial functions manually. A greater number of US libraries have automated all procedures for processing serials (11% as opposed to 9% in Canada and 8% in Europe). A greater proportion have automated some procedures (42% in Europe and 40% in both the US and Canada). Between 23% and 34% process all book functions manually. A greater proportion of Canadian libraries have automated all book functions (26% as opposed to 14% in the US and 13% in Europe). A greater proportion of European libraries have automated some book functions (58% as opposed to 47% in the US and 34% in Canada). Personal computers are used more often than the mainframe/minicomputers to process both serials and books. Not all libraries use the same system throughout for automating all library functions, and a number of libraries ‘mix and match’ multiple systems or use systems which are specific to a geographic location. The most frequently used systems on the personal computer and mainframe/minicomputer for processing serials and books are given by function within geographic location.
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