Serials Management in Academic Libraries: A Guide to Issues and Practices

Serials Management in Academic Libraries: A Guide to Issues and Practices

Serials Management in Academic Libraries: A Guide to Issues and Practices

Serials Management in Academic Libraries: A Guide to Issues and Practices

Synopsis

In the decade ahead, libraries will have to do more with less. Serials management, in particular, will require a greater degree of adaptability and flexibility. This professional reference overviews the most significant emerging issues concerning serials management in academic libraries and provides practical advice to aid librarians in responding to a changing environment. Among the issues discussed are the debate of access versus ownership, the electronic dissemination of text and document delivery, standards for electronic data transfer, and approaches to cataloging. The volume offers practical solutions to the problems facing librarians, and it stresses the increasing role of automation in effective serials management.

Excerpt

The librarian is a middleman [who] neither produces ‘‘information’’ nor consumes it; he merely transfers it in the form in which it is made available to him and in which the user wants it.

Dix (1968, 39)

This professional reference is a guide for serials librarians in academic libraries and for librarians in academic libraries whose responsibilities include serials. It deals with the principal areas of serials management in an academic setting and highlights some of the key issues of the time: namely, access versus ownership, electronic dissemination of text and document delivery, standards for electronic transfer of data, and cataloging locally versus outsourcing. In the decade ahead, one of the themes that will be played out is that ‘‘less is more.’’ Fewer journal titles owned by each institution, less detailed cataloging, and fewer staff may become givens as academic libraries across the nation cope with reduced budgets. The stringencies in funding will be felt by all areas of the academic enterprise. Serials management, in particular, will require a greater degree of flexibility and adaptability, but will be aided by automation. The means to achieving the greatest flexibility in tracking spending, monitoring staff productivity, and adapting work flow is automation, automation, automation.

Many serials managers will be faced with the task of organizing the serials processing work flow to maximize efficiency and productivity yet, simultaneously, minimize the cost and eliminate duplicate effort. Libraries that have en-

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