The proliferation of new electronic databases and search engines is delivering a host of new choices for librarians and system administrators. The problems presented by these choices are particularly difficult ones for small- and medium-sized academic libraries. Previously, one only had to decide what paper indexes to purchase and then whether the indexes were affordable. Now many indexes are available in a wide variety of formats so that the choices to be made have become much more complex. In addition, much more than single indexing has become available. Full-text online, on CD-ROM, or by document delivery is now an option to be considered as well. How can a useful decision be made among all the options now available? Librarians must consider the needs of the users as well as the options and budget available.
A balance must be struck between the money that will be spent for online sources and that which will go to traditional paper sources. More and more libraries are canceling paper indexes in order to subscribe to an electronic version. When an index is made available in electronic version, the print version gets very little use as a rule. Cancellation of paper indexes was almost unheard of in libraries even a few years ago for a number of reasons. Academic librarians were suitably nervous about accreditation for various programs where subscrip-