by Widodo

From time to time libraries and information agencies improve the services to their patrons. They provide themself with databases and system application to meet the users’ demand and satisfactory. Database is a collection of records or unit of information, normally stored in a computer system; it may consist of one or more files (Hunter and Backeweel, 1983. p. xiv). It will be valuable if access points are provided.
To discuss access points in a database that is indicating their importance in the information retrieval, we will discuss first in a brief the choice of access point, then talking about the access point in manual libraries by which is using card catalogue and  continued to the access points in online catalogue.
An access point is any attribute of a book or any other library material which is a library patron is expected to use in locating it. The term main entry refers to the principles access point the cataloguer has chosen for the basic catalogue record. Other access points for the same record are considered as added entries. But the question is which attributes should we choose as main entries or added entries?
In the choice of access points, we should consult to the AACR2. The rules for the main entry in chapter 21 are based on the following general principles :
1. Main entry will be under the heading for the personal author chiefly responsible for the intellectual content or the artistic creation of the work (21.1A).
2. For a work emanating from a corporate body, main entry will be under the heading for the body if the content of the work is among the five type (21.1B2).
3. Main entry will be under title in the following instances :
– if responsibility for intellectual or artistic content is four or more authors or unknown (anonymous) (21.1C1a).
– if the work is a collection or work produced under editorial direction (21.1C1b)
– if the work emanates form a corporate body, but is not of personal authorship and is not subsumed under the five categories listed under 21.1B2 (21.1C1c);
– if the work is regarded as sacred Scripture (21.1C1d).
An Added entry should be made if the cataloguer believes that users might reasonably consider a person or corporate body not listed as main entries responsible for the work. The conventional order in which added entries should be listed is as follows :
– personal name, editor and compilers
– personal name/title
– corporate name/bodies
– corporate name/title
– uniform title (added entry for works entered under title)
– title traced as title-period
– title traced as title-colon, followed by a title
– series

Large libraries, particularly in the left behind countries, use card catalogue to provide access of the collection to their community. The users may search the items through  card catalogue both main entry or added entry arranged alphabetically by title, author, or subject. A certain library provides card catalogues arranged in call numbers order. In the case of users browsing materials on the shelves, however, they are actually browsing the number arrangement. In a small or private library, in contrast, which catalogue has not been organised yet, the librarians tend to provide access points with the collection arranged in author or title order.
In a particular cases, cataloguers provide the users with the cross references (see and see also) as a guide to a particular or as an alternative choice of records, for example:

Ball Games                Birds
see also               see also
Football                 Penguins

SIMPSON J. Sparrow-        DODGSON, Charles Letwidge
see                   see

The concept of searching a database is a simple one, the users are connected to the system by means of a terminal. In many cases, the terminal is linked through a telecommunication into communication network which puts the users in contact with a large sharing computer. This computer provides access to one or more files, and the users are then able to type in search enquires and receive response immediately in the form of citations or abstracts of literature they need.
The online catalogues available today provide search at least by author, title and subject fields. Some provide a finer breakdown, for example, a user can specify whether the search is for a specific type of author- personal name, corporate name, conference name, etc. Similarly, some systems provide title access including series titles, sub titles, translated titles, etc.
The choice of access points will depends on the large extent on the database design and on the various indexes have been constructed. Some system provide access with keyword or controlled vocabulary constructed in KWIC and KWOC indexing. Keyword access means that word within name, title, subject headings and other parts of the bibliographic citation may be searched as individual entities. Thus a library users can look for the name Robert or Frost and retrieve citations where those words appear in any part of the name fields. Keyword access provides in-depth retrieval over the entire bibliographic record, it will be powerful when it is combined with the capability of Boolean logic ( and, or and not ).
Others provide free-text searching that is the users may search using their own language (natural language). This is the technique of selecting search and phrases without use of the controlled vocabulary. Most databases allow free-text searching on words appearing in the documents title, description, identifiers, corporate source, and abstract. CDS/ISIS, for example, provides access for every word exists in the fields, eg.: ISBN, ISSN, LC, DDC, Holdings/Location, BRN (Bibliographic Record Number), Physical Description, Imprint, etc.; the users can also search by typing a digit of character or numeric already in the fields.

References :
1. Downing, Mildred Harlow and David H. Downing. Introduction to and cataloguing and classification: with 45 exhibits and 15 figures. 6th ed. London: MecFarland & Company, 1992.
2. Fayen, Gallup Emily. The online catalog: improving public access to library materials. London: Knowledge Industry Publication, 1983.
3. Foster, Allan. Which database ?: an evaluative guide to online bibliographic databases in business and the social science. Hartlepool, Cleveland: Headland Press, 1981.
4. Hunter, Eric J. Cataloguing. 2nd ed. London: Clive Bingley, 1983.
5. Maxwell, Margaret F. Handbook for AACR2 1988 revision: explaining and illustration the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. Chicago: American Library Association, 1989.

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