- Problems of the Main Library of a Large University Discussion Centered Around the University of Tokyo Library
- No.10, p.93-107
I. Problems of acquisitions
In university libraries, materials are selected mostly by professors. It is a rare case that in the University of Tokyo Library (Main Library which is called General Library) general books are selected by librarians themselves. However, both professors and librarians have difficulties in selecting books for the main library which covers a wide variety of sciences. A blancket order for current Japanese books of academic nature is recommended as a part of its acquisitions. (About ￥15,000,000 will make up them) As for foreign books or Western language books, we have to consider a small “Farmington Plan” within the university.
The reason why the budget for purchasing books of the General Library is quite small and has hardly increased last several years, is that the Library has no independent book budget in the University. The larger part of the university budget is built on the basis of the number of faculty members and students. However, the General Library has no professors and students as a budget basis unlike a faculty or an institute. That is to say, the decision of the book budget is at the mercy of university administration. The book budget must be built on the mass of books needed in higher education.
II. Problems of reservoir
The annual increase of books in large universities which hold millions of volumes rises to a hundred thousands. We are forced to build new annex stacks or a deposit library. The matter has been long discussed in the University of Tokyo by both faculties and librarians. And we found some differences between the attitudes of people in humanities and social sciences and those in natural sciences, especially physical science and technology, concerning the location of the new deposit library and its indispensability in substance. The natural science side expects the deposit library to function also as an information center.
Another problem of reservoir is concerning of weeding. In case of a national university, weeding of books is very difficult and the process is troublesome, being bound by the national administration code of general goods including library materials. Especially the weeding of lost books is difficult. Of course, librarians must try to reduce the number of lost books, but frequently used books on open stacks which are purchased as duplicates should be treated as expendable. Then the main library will become a center for weeding of whole university’s unnecessary books and a clearing-house of gifts and exchange.
III. Problems of cataloging
To utilize printed catalog cards produced by the National Diet Library for Japanese books became popular in national university libraries. However, they cover mostly current publications. In case of Western language books, we are attempting to use MARC tape. However, we can use MARC nither for non-current English books, nor German or French books, so on. To manage a large number of books in the main library, processing works should be divided in two flows; that is, the one for current books which will be done rather automatically and the other for older and special books in manual.
The remarkable increase of stock of books brings not only the shortage of stacks but also card cases. Why should we maintain such a huge catalog in card system？ It needs big human power for filing and brings a difficulty to consulting. The automation of cataloging will resolve the question of converting a card catalog to a book catalog.
On Japanese books, we have many problems to be solved; cataloging, filing and automation in general. Since we use Chinese characters, we must go another way, in cooperation with. other countries using Chinese characters such as China and Korea.