Library Hub Cataloguing Survey

Library Hub Cataloguing User Survey: Spring 2020

The Library Hub Cataloguing User survey aimed to gain feedback on the current cataloguing service and information to support service development. The survey was released on the 9th March 2020 and ran until 20thMay. The timing was unfortunate, coinciding with the lead up to the Covid-19 lockdown, home working and many other pressures on library staff, alongside the furloughing of some staff. So we were not overly surprised by the limited number responses we received, but we are very appreciative of those who were able to give us feedback.

There were ten responses from eight different institutions. These represented a mix of libraries, large and small, with six responses representing the collective view from an institution. The results are summarised below with the summary and detail of the responses available in: Library Hub Cataloguing User Survey 0620

The main benefit of the service was obviously copy cataloguing. Access to free records was mentioned, as well as the benefit of the shared expertise embodied in the records. Two libraries commented that they were not finding the service useful as a result of data concerns relating to the deduplication. Respondents were generally happy with the available interfaces. The Z39.50 interface was most used as it integrates with many library systems and thus cataloguing workflows. In terms of change requests, not all respondents made suggestions, but some of those who had been users of the RLUK database wanted previously available search options reinstating. For the web interface the issue of duplicate keywords in the records was mentioned, as well as interest in other options for managing search results.

In terms of record quality the views expressed varied. The sharing of data was seen as positive and some respondents were happy with the records. However others felt the data was mixed in quality or they had significant concerns arising from the record deduplication process. We have been passing feedback to OCLC regarding the Cataloguing service since it was made live in 2019 and as a result of this OCLC have now implemented a number of changes to the way the data is deduplicated. These changes were released after the survey was carried out and should have alleviated some of the concerns expressed by survey respondents.

We were interested in how people felt about the inclusion of data sources outwith the NBK contributors, in the form of BNB, the ISSN database and the Library of Congress catalogue, and whether such data sources should be deduplicated with the library supplied records. Also whether the national library catalogues should be included in the Library Hub Cataloguing service without being deduplicated, something we’ve previously had suggested. In relation to these questions, there was one respondent that felt all data sources should be deduplicated, but in general the preference was for the national libraries and other data sources to be included without deduplication to offer cataloguers a choice of records.

In terms of overall satisfaction, again results were mixed with 5 respondents being fairly or very satisfied, whilst 6 respondents indicated a high likelihood of recommending the service. We hope that the recent OCLC improvements to the data processing will have increased the service satisfaction overall. Even where there was dissatisfaction with the records at the time, we appreciated receiving comments that indicated there was a positive view of the potential value of the service.

We are reviewing the current Library Hub Cataloguing service as we look at future developments and we will be taking on board feedback we have received, including from the survey. If you have any questions or comments about the Cataloguing service you can contact us via, mentioning the name of the service in your email.

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