Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Management of Electronic Resources by Cataloguers in Nigerian Federal University Libraries

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Management of Electronic Resources by Cataloguers in Nigerian Federal University Libraries

Article excerpt

Introduction

Library has been a collection of information materials for ages and print media have been the bulk of the library resources. However the advent of information technology in the early 1990s led to the emergence and continuous exponential growth of digitally or electronically borne information resources. (Parker, 2007). Other factors such as provision of space economy; ease of access through numerous metadata, search engines, online catalogues, O.P.A.Cs, and protocols; access which is not hindered by distance or boundaries and simultaneous consultation of the same eresources by many users, provided the preeminence of e-resources over print format. Electronic resources include CD-ROMs, e-journals, e-text or electronic books, locally loaded databases, websites and abstracting and indexing databases such as MEDLINE. According to Bothmann and Holmberg (2010), " e-resources also include products that aid in resource access for patrons such as A-Z lists, Open URL, servers, Federated search engines and resources that provide full- text content such as publishers' electronic journal content, journal content platforms such as Project Muse or Jstor and content aggregators such as EBSCOHOST's Academic Search Premier and proxy servers or other authentication tools" (Bothmann and Holmberg, 2010: 4)

An e-resource can also be " a package of e-journals or a database of abstracts and indexes that include the full text of some or all articles referenced by the indexes" ( Sadeh and Ellingsen, 2005: 04) For e-resources, the interface through which it is offered should be considered because these elements are intricately linked, even though they can be licensed separately. In addition, among e-journals package, published by a publisher, a specific journal could be governed by a different set of license terms. (Sadeh and Ellingsen, 2005).. Other factors that are specific to e-resources and do not apply to the traditional print include patron authentication, access, administration, usage, manner of acquisition, accession, licensing and bibliographic control.

The issue of transition from acquiring print to acquiring electronic resources requires managerial ability as the need to adapt the internal organization to the new situation is indispensable. Gronvall (2009) emphasized that in Kenolinska Instituttet University Library, the budget for e-resources was leveraged from 45% to 96% in 2006 and a decision not to duplicate print and electronic media was enforced. For example, collection of "grey materials" was stopped as most of them are now in the Internet.

Bibliographic control in the online environment is an issue of great concern in the management of e-resources. Mitchell and Surratt (2005) noted that the developments in the online environments have necessitated the overhaul of traditional cataloguing practices for electronic resources. The overhaul has brought in a conceptual model for cataloguing practices such as Functional Requirement for Bibliographic Records (FRBR). This is concerned with element relationships which improve the way resources are catalogued and described. It collates resources in a way that make sense for patron's usage. The cataloguing department has the onerous task to demonstrate how libraries can perform records and record sets as well as strategize for reviewing and updating entries.

In the electronic environment, there have been some efforts to find some alternatives to cataloguing eresources. Mitchell and Surratt (2005) enumerated three alternatives to cataloguing. They were, web list, context-sensitive linking and federated searching, as strategies to bibliographic control in the online environment. This directs the library's bibliographic tools and practices to meet its own unique access needs. Cataloguers are required to provide an easy-tounderstand introduction to the record content and cataloguing rules and guidelines involved in organizing digital resources. …

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