National Union Catalog: Asset or Albatross?

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
John Abbott, Professor & Coordinator, Collection Management (Creator)
Allan G. Scherlen, Professor and Social Sciences Librarian (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: Summary of Conference Presentation: Midsize academic libraries face many unique challenges, particularly in the greyer areas of collection management. This presentation addresses these challenges faced by libraries in midsize institutions and how they differ from those at larger research institutions. It focuses on the presenters’ study of midsize library attitudes toward retaining or weeding the iconic National Union Catalog, Pre-1956 Imprints and the reasoning behind each. The generations of librarians who used the NUC and other analog sets are passing from the scene in academic libraries, and the incoming digital native librarian knows little or nothing about them. The fate of the NUC is examined. The example of de-selection decisions regarding voluminous paper sets of pre-digital finding aids is also discussed. Ultimately, the presentation aims to discuss the ways in which midsize libraries can find in building midsize library collections, which will balance out the research needs against the demands of limited space and budgets.

Additional Information

Abbott, John and Allan Scherlen (2012) "National Union Catalog: Asset or Albatross?" In Accentuate the Positive: Charleston Conference Proceedings, 2012, Beth R. Bernhardt, Leah H. Hinds, & Katina P. Strauch, Editors. DOI: 10.5703/1288284315083 Perdue University Perdue e-Pubs. Version of record available open access at:
Language: English
Date: 2012

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