Re: Disappearing microform titles (Buddy Pennington) Marcia Tuttle 07 Sep 2001 14:51 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 19:37:37 -0500
From: "MD_Buddy (Buddy Pennington)" <MD_Buddy@KCLIBRARY.ORG>
Subject: Re: Disappearing microform titles (Dan Lester, 2nd message)

Thursday, September 06, 2001, 12:10:01 PM, you wrote:

> It's nice for publishers to put their archives on the web, but I am sure
> they won't have it accessible for free for long.  That is why they are
> cancelling the film, because it doesn't pay.

*Naturally.  They're in business.  In good financial times they can
*afford to carry some losing operations for good will, PR, etc.  In
*tough times they can't.

That is why it is good to have something that you have control over instead
of the publishers if your mission is to provide information to customers
instead of making money.  Publishers and libraries have a conflict in
missions that is a big deal with this sort of thing.

> Also, film is nice because it is centralized and easily arranged.  We have
> over 500 current titles on film and several hundred more non-current
> but they are all shelved in alphabetical order and easy to find.  If
> publishers start putting this up, then we will have hundreds of URLS to
> worry about.  That will be a cataloging nightmare.  There are archives out
> there (ECO, JSTOR), but they are few and contain mainly STM titles and
> academic titles.

*I'd much rather maintain a list of 500 URLs (that can change, of course)
*than 5000 or 50,000 boxes of film.  Cataloging websites is no more
*difficult than cataloging print journals.  It IS different, and that
*bothers some, but that's nothing new.

You catalog all your websites in MARC?  It definitely is not as easy as a
print serial.  And the locations of microfilm are fairly static while URL's
and content of the websites is not.  The pace of change with the web is much
faster than that of film collections and many libraries do not have the
staff time to keep pace with those changes.

> And you also have patrons to think about.  While many of our patrons
> about using microfilm, far more grumble about using the computer to access
> magazine articles.  This may not be the case in academic libraries, but it
> is the case at our library.

*Our student patrons prefer computer to microfilm because they can
*access the material in many places.  Neither the film user nor the web
*user reads the document on the associated screen.  They all hit the
*print button and take the paper away to read.  The web copy is never
*harder to read than the print from microfilm, and usually easier to

This is a big difference that I am seeing with academic vs. public.  Not
only are the majority of e-journals academic in nature, academic library
users seem to be embracing them (at least from the literature).  But public
libraries are a bit different.  And this also does not matter for the tons
of titles that are not available electronically anywhere.

> My point is that it isn't film vs. web that is at stake, it is the
> diminishing of formats fo retention.

*It isn't diminishing formats, it is changing formats.  When we lost 8
*tracks (yes, no great loss) it wasn't a diminishing of formats, it was
*a changing of formats to cassettes, and subsequently to CDs.  Soon it
*will be to something else.  But as long as it is DIGITAL the format
*doesn't matter, as long as someone copies the old format to the new.

It is diminishing formats.  We lost 8 tracks and cassettes because they did
not provide anything that CDs provided.  Film does provide benefits that
electronic access does not.  It is easy to maintain, locate and you own it
once you buy it.  That last one is a huge benefit.

>  While film has its problems, it beats
> the crap out of the internet in terms of archiving and permanent access.

*The internet isn't an archiving solution as such.  The digital storage
*is key, no matter how it is delivered to the user.

Right but most libraries can afford to digitize serials.  And as far as I
know DMCA allows you to digitize materials but then they can only be made
available from within your building.  The result is that other parties are
going to digitize and provide access (again leasing not selling) for a fee.

> When you own something you decide when to get rid of it.  When you rent or
> lease something (like access to web archives) you have no say in the

*Some libraries are doing their own archiving of the digital content
*they buy/lease/license/use.  The legalities are left as an exercise
*for the student.

Until they get sued.


Dan Lester, Data Wrangler
3577 East Pecan, Boise, Idaho  83716-7115 USA  Stop Global Whining!

Buddy Pennington
Document Delivery Librarian
Kansas City Public Library