Magazine article Computers in Libraries

The Value of Librarians as Publishers on the Web

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

The Value of Librarians as Publishers on the Web

Article excerpt

Six compelling reasons underscore the importance of librarians' involvement in publishing on the World Wide Web, especially for librarians in academic settings. First, we need to support the scholarly communication process-and Web publishing is a powerful symbol of our enfranchised role. Disseminating information is a function that traditionally has been associated with librarians (although not exclusively), and Web publishing fits well into this traditional paradigm.

Second, as librarians, we have expertise in the arena of organizing and providing access to information. We can share our skills with the academic community by turning Web documents into one-stop shopping malls that offer not only subject access to a document but also the full text of the document itself.

Third, Web publishing gives the librarian a higher profile on campus-an important asset these days because of the changing nature of higher education and the changing role of librarians.

Fourth, the Web provides unique access to scholarly information because of its serendipitous nature, its immediacy, its hypertext structure, and its universal appeal. Why wouldn't librarians want to be involved with this exciting new technology at the publishing level?

Fifth. Web publishing gives our parent institutions a positive reputation in the national and international academic communities. This is more important than ever given the current climate of declining enrollments faced by so many colleges today.

Sixth, Web publishing allows us to bypass the profitbased system of print publishing that has gouged out huge chunks of money from our budgets, tormenting librarians for years. …

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