Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Editorial

Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Editorial

Article excerpt

As I write this message from the editor, I am pondering the joy of juxtaposition. Today (March 19) is the first day of spring, yet I spent the morning shoveling eight inches of snow. In contrast, I just returned from ten days of glorious, warm, sunny weather in Arizona, where I admired cacti and the best wildflower display in decades. Both realities exist simultaneously--just like the realities we experience in libraries. Colleagues debate the virtues of ownership versus access, just-in-time versus just-in-case selection and acquisition, electronic versus print subscriptions, brief records versus full cataloging, approval plans versus title-by-title section, microform versus digital preservation, accepting copy cataloging as-is versus editing it, and so on. We hear about the digital library or the print-based library. Perhaps these are not either or choices, but choices we will reconsider and make again and again, depending on the situation. We would do better, perhaps, to think about these as juxtaposed, that is--placed side by side for comparison or contrast.

Librarians live and work in changing times. Our user communities and their expectations, institution and parent organization priorities, technical capacity, funding, and staffing all change, and we must respond as best we can. I find myself struggling with what I think is the best response and what is the most responsible, given available resources and the changing environment. Responsible management of resources, efficiency, expediency, accountability, and improved user service are the watchwords of the day. …

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