A pressing problem confronted by Information Organization practitioners is subject access of the OPAC. Keyword searches often lead to either failure or retrieving too many references. When searches yield zero hits, whatever the reason, many users will abandon the search. This is not a function of computer literacy. The OPAC is a black box to users and they know very little about what happens inside the system… and they shouldn’t need to. This is why post patrons prefer “free-text” searching, because it requires little thought – however it produces less intelligent results. Ranganathan’s law, “Save the time of the reader,” is applicable here. It is the responsibility of those of us organizing information to allow the searcher to find his information accurately in a little time as possible.
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