Appropriate collection evaluation allows all kinds of libraries to improve availability of materials for their users. So far, many researchers and librarians have tried to develop effective and efficient methods for collection evaluation such as the checklist method, conspectus, analysis of use data, and so on. In this report, we describe an attempt at collection evaluation at the National Diet Library (NDL) in Japan, and aim to investigate empirically the degree to which the NDL holdings cover foreign books in the field of library and information science (note that “foreign books” here means those other than Japanese, Chinese and Korean books).
This report consists of three main chapters. In the first chapter, we discuss generally collection evaluation methods and review recent attempts at evaluation reported in literature.
The second chapter describes our international survey on the collection evaluation practices actually carried out or envisioned in national and academic libraries. The questionnaire was sent to 27 national and academic libraries, and we have obtained replies from 19 libraries (around 70%). Of the 19 libraries, 11 libraries are periodically assessing their collections or have conducted a collection evaluation before. In particular, the second chapter intensively discusses two cases of evaluation at the National Library of the Czech Republic and the National Library of Australia.
The third chapter reports procedures and results of our pilot study for assessing the NDL holdings. Our target is the collection of foreign books other than CJK ones in the field of library and information science as mentioned above, and the checklist method was used for measuring the degree of coverage, in which two online catalogs of the Library of Congress and National Library of China, NACSIS-CAT database and NACSIS-ILL data (the NACSIS is a bibliographic utility service in Japan), and two citation lists derived from a fundamental monograph and scholarly journals respectively, were employed as a set of checklists. The results of matching operations based on ISBN codes shows about 16% to 70% of coverage over these checklists. In this chapter, addressing full-range assessment of the NDL holdings in the future, we discuss technical problems in bibliographic identification, and the validity and limitations of the checklist method.