There was a 22 percent increase in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) members reporting the use of integrated online catalogs between 1985 and 1986, according to the newly published Automation Inventory of Research Libraries 1986. The number of libraries reporting integrated local cataloging systems increased 19 percent, and those reporting integrated acquisitions systems increased 18 percent. These and other trends reported in the 1986 edition are based on the responses of 113 ARL institutions to an automation survey conducted by the ARL Office of Management Studies last summer.
The 1986 edition contains expanded and updated information beyond what was presented in the 1985 version concerning the use of technology by ARL members. It includes additional counts and sorted listings of activities and status. A new section was added for library comments, and two additional functions, reference and materials booking, were included in the survey. Finally, the data base format was modified to create a more readable presentation of vendors. The Inventory was developed in 1984 in response to the needs of ARL library directors requesting timely, comparable information about the extent and nature of automation within the research library community. The purpose of the resulting data base is to report aggregate trends, as well as to aid in planning and other management purposes. Over the past two years, the Inventory has been used in developing budget proposals, requests for proposals, and timetables for integrating automation. Institutionally, libraries use the Inventory to seek out colleagues to contact for comparative information, to analyze trend. for research and planning efforts, to identify bellweather institutions, or to locate libraries with specific hardware and software in order to prepare RFPs or work with vendors.
In recognition that library technology is rapidly changing, the ARL office updates the Inventory on a continuing basis. Libraries may contact the office for searches which will include more current information or more specific details. There is a fee for this service. The Automation Inventory of Research Libraries 1986 (September 1986, 164 pp., ISBN 0-9l8006-52-x) is available for $40 ($20 for ARL members) , prepaid, from library distributors or from ARL/OMS. Refer to publication No. PB10. If ordering outside the U.S., add $5 for postage and handling.
[Contact: OMS Publication Department, Office of Management Studies/ARL, 1527 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 232-2466.]