External Contracting for Library Services
Nina T. Cohen
Why "external" contracting?
Every library worker knows that he or she is working under a contract. For purposes of this presentation, those contractual relationships between the institution and the professional employed by that institution are considered internal contracts. They relate to professional and institutional work conditions. As used here external contracts represent a shift of emphasis from conditions of work to the work itself. An external contract has to do only with work that must be performed and that lacks anyone under internal contract to perform it.
We are only 10 years away from the large backlogs in cataloging departments. During those 10 years we have essentially, contracted out some of the tasks involved in cataloging a book. The availability, on-line, of bibliographic information has been accomplished through an external contract in which the professional cataloger has maintained local control, but some of the work has been done by another (contracted) entity.
There was a time when journals and some monographs were