This article has been withdrawn as it was published elsewhere and accidentally duplicated. The original article can be seen here: 10.1108/02641619810213745. When citing the article, please cite: J. Eric Davies, Anne Morris, (1998), “Weighing up the options for document supply: a description and discussion of the FIDDO Project”, Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 26 Iss: 2, pp. 76 - 82.
The LIS profession is beginning to place expert systems in perspective. Expert systems are no longer heralded as being the only necessary tool but rather one tool among an…
The LIS profession is beginning to place expert systems in perspective. Expert systems are no longer heralded as being the only necessary tool but rather one tool among an array of several. LIS educators are realistic, both about expert systems technology and about what can be achieved within the limitations of an LIS course. New technologies for refining and controlling information are constantly emerging; LIS schools have to keep up‐to‐date with them as they emerge, but they must also ensure that they do not overprioritize one particular development at the expense of others. They can, at best, only hope to give a taste of the possibilities and potential in different areas. Expert systems are still new enough to warrant special treatment but no doubt they will be ousted by newer technologies in the course of time. Meanwhile, LIS professionals should make the most of what is currently available. Hopefully it should pay dividends in the future.
As yet, the services and guides offered commercially do not address the problem of database selection fully. There is a need for a database selector that can either take database selection out of the hands of the inexperienced or act as an advisor to more experienced online users. One approach to assisting business database selection is to produce better software, but of what type? Examination of the problem suggests that an expert system, which embodies and applies problem‐solving skills, might be suitable, since the task of database selection requires specific cognitive skills; intermediaries with skills in selecting databases exist; and intermediaries can articulate the methods they use to select databases.
E‐commerce is big business providing exciting opportunities for library and information professionals. This paper examines the range of options available for libraries and researchers to obtain or access documents electronically. It lists suppliers and discusses selection criteria, both informed by the results of the eLib sponsored FIDDO (Focused Investigation of Document Delivery Options) Project completed in 1999.
Annual book issues from UK public libraries have been decreasing since 1980, due mainly to decreases in issues of adult fiction and, to a lesser extent, adult non‐fiction…
Annual book issues from UK public libraries have been decreasing since 1980, due mainly to decreases in issues of adult fiction and, to a lesser extent, adult non‐fiction. This paper describes an analysis of trends from 1980 to 1998 in annual book issues and selected factors that may have caused their decrease. Simple linear regressions were used to test predictors of issues over this period. The factors studied were: decreased funding of public libraries and library book stocks; reductions in opening hours and numbers of public libraries; increased personal affluence and leisure opportunities; and increased book purchases by readers. Significant regression relationships were found between annual book issues and all the factors studied. However, book issues showed the closest relationship to personal spending power, as measured by real households' disposable income, which explained over 96 per cent of the variation in issues. This compared with 92 per cent of the variation in issues being explained by the number of libraries open 45 hours per week, 80 per cent by real consumer spending on books and just 60 per cent by real book spend in public libraries.
The introduction and use of new technology is becoming increasingly commonplace in today's libraries. Technological advances have made possible impressive achievements in improving services and streamlining operations. However, these achievements are often forfeited by managers failing to examine the human effects of automation. This paper highlights the need to consider the human component in the system and reviews health and safety aspects, the ergonomics of library automation, workplace design and job organisation. It concludes that consideration of these factors, combined with detailed knowledge about the needs and habits of personnel, can go a long way to ensure that staff are happy and healthy and that the system runs smoothly and efficiently.
In the context of statistical research into the economic value of public library services, a model was developed to demonstrate the economic benefit when books are…
In the context of statistical research into the economic value of public library services, a model was developed to demonstrate the economic benefit when books are borrowed rather than bought. The model is based on the number of book reads rather than on book purchases or library issue counts. Different assumptions applied to the model cover the hardback:paperback distinction and different levels of library costs. The most significant variable, however, is shown to lie between books that are “read through” and those “frequently consulted” for information and educational benefit. Maximising book loans through the public library is shown to be not only in the interest of individual users, but also to be economically in the public interest.
Outlines the dynamic and complex information delivery environment facing managers, and describes the eLib‐funded FIDDO (Focused Investigations of Document Delivery Option…
Outlines the dynamic and complex information delivery environment facing managers, and describes the eLib‐funded FIDDO (Focused Investigations of Document Delivery Option) Project’s aims, organisation and activities to date. The project seeks to establish reliable information on document delivery to assist managers in decision making. The project has formal structure and management to enable consultation and liaison with relevant expertise and interests. Work to date is described, including literature reviewing, document delivery vendor study, World Wide Web‐based information dissemination point, national survey of interlibrary loan practices, exchange of experience workshop, and “live” field trials.
Possible reasons for the decline in annual adult book issues from UK public libraries are reviewed. Annual book issues have been decreasing since 1980, due mainly to a…
Possible reasons for the decline in annual adult book issues from UK public libraries are reviewed. Annual book issues have been decreasing since 1980, due mainly to a decrease in issues of adult fiction and, to a lesser extent, adult non‐fiction. Possible intrinsic causes include cuts in book funds in real terms and reduced accessibility of libraries through library closures and reduced opening hours. One likely extrinsic cause is increased real households' disposable income since the late 1970s, which has expanded people's leisure opportunities and made it easy for them to buy books. The widespread use of home computers and the Internet in recent years is also likely to be a factor, but there is little evidence for a major role of increased television watching. There are some data to suggest that the average person in the UK now spends less time reading books and this, combined with the increase in consumer book purchasing, is probably the underlying cause of the decline in public library book lending.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the provision of audiovisual materials in UK public libraries and their economic value.
A questionnaire survey of all the public library authorities in the UK was used to investigate current provision of audiovisual material, expected future provision, and the amounts spent on and generated by audiovisual collections. Data collected, together with those available from other reputable sources, were then used to estimate the cost benefit or value of audiovisual provision.
The provision of audiovisual material in UK public libraries is widespread and varied. While audiovisual collections provide economic value and generate income from charging for loans, there are significant costs inherent in providing such services. Concerns are raised about the constant developments in media formats and the ability to make adequate provision. A cost benefit of 1:1.34 using the PVB (present value benefits) based on maximum loan charges was found, meaning that the UK gets £1.34 direct benefit from every £1.00 spent on the audiovisual service.
There are different methods used by economists to estimate value of public services, all having limitations. The method used in this research is no exception. The cost‐benefit ratio found is based on maximum loan charges. However, this figure would be higher if the PVB had been based on purchase costs or lower if the PVB had been based on mean loan charges. Further, the figures do not include indirect benefits or option benefits, so are likely to be underestimates of the true cost benefit of the audiovisual service.
This research is likely to be of interest to public library managers and funding bodies needing evidence for the value of audiovisual provision.
This is the first attempt to put a monetary value on audiovisual provision in the UK. It also provides insights into current and future audiovisual provision.