Re: Disappearing microform titles (Dan Lester) Dan Lester 26 Sep 2001 18:17 UTC

Thursday, September 20, 2001, 10:09:22 AM, Albert Henderson wrote:

AH>         Cary Nelson,
AH>         who wrote, "National disciplinary organizations must shift
AH>         their focus from creating professional opportunities to
AH>         active monitoring of the higher-education workplace."
AH>         [Chronicle of Higher Education. 45(32):B4 1999, April 16]

And every bit as valid an opinion as that of a few thousand others,
including yours and mine.

AH>         My theory is that most faculty with ambition to rise in
AH>         the academic hierarchy are easy prey for the back-office
AH>         boyars who really control the money.
Thanks.  That's my new word of the day.  I don't see those folks as
comparable to the aristocracy in Czarist Russia, but to each his own.

>> Tenure is an antiquated, archaic, and unnecessary device in the
>> twenty-first century, but that's a different debate.  As far as
>> administrators trying to get rid of tenure, I've never noticed such
>> activity in the universities I've worked in.

AH>         But you are reciting the party line!!

Call it what you will, what I say about tenure in the quote above is
what I've said for over thirty years, since I was a lowly instructor
with a freshly printed Master's degree.  Tenure was necessary before
the plethora of protective laws that have been created to overprotect
people in the last fifty or so years.  And I've still never heard any
administrators (and damn few faculty) speak publicly against tenure in
any of the seven state universities I've worked in.  Of course I'm not
privileged to hear what some of them may say in their secret  hideaways
where they're sipping sherry, plotting the overthrow of the faculty,
and planning their trip to Bermuda with all the secret funds they've
put away instead of giving it to the library.

However, I realize you probably think I'm hopelessly naive, as I've
never worked in a library ranked higher than about #60 in the ARL

>>In addition, interlibrary loans don't take two weeks any more.  One
>>week is more like it, particularly with systems like Ariel and ILLiad
>>to facilitate electronic transmission and delivery of articles. Also,
>>many libraries now have consortial courier arrangements and/or are
>>willing to spend the money on delivery that is more rapid than
>>"library rate".

AH>         Twenty years after the 1976 Copyright Act officially
AH>         blessed 'library fair use,' Mary Jackson's survey of
AH>         interlibrary borrowing and document delivery services
AH>         at 97 Association of Research Libraries libraries
AH>         indicated service takes an average of 16 calendar days.
AH>         It found that the fill rate for borrowing was 85%.
AH>         Moreover, returnable items took an average of two days
AH>         longer than non-returnables. [ARL: A Bimonthly Newsletter.
AH>         195.]

Exactly.  That was five years ago.  Ariel was not yet widespread. It
is unlikely that any library was yet delivering articles obtained from
other libraries on the web.  As an example, our latest statistics show
a turnaround time from submission on the web to delivery to user of
8.52 days for articles and 9.36 days for books.  For the scholar who
hasn't planned further ahead than that, there are always pay services
that can be funded from his/her grant.

AH>         While the patrons sampled in the survey were, "very
AH>         satisfied with ILL services," patrons who abandoned the
AH>         library entirely were not included.

Well, any scholar who thinks s/he can abandon the library entirely
deserves what s/he gets.  Maybe they are the ones who teach students
that "everything you need to know is on the internet, where all
knowledge is available for free".  I wish them luck.

AH>         at other libraries and why a survey by Columbia's library
AH>         revealed that more than 90 per cent of Columbia's
AH>         professors no longer set foot in the main library).
AH>         [Chronicle of Higher Education, XLIV(16):B4-5. Dec. 12,1997]

I'll bet many of them never set foot in it because they have graduate
students doing the grunt work, the same as most of us did at various
times in graduate school.  And these days, they don't need to go to
the physical library as often because they can obtain most of their
scholarly articles electronically from their office, or even their

AH>         The Federal rules governing page charges make it clear
AH>         that publication cannot depend on payment, as it would
AH>         with a vanity press.

Well, there are many ways around little rules like that.  Ask your
local congressperson about the ways money can change hands.  Naturally
s/he didn't vote a certain way because of a contribution.  The
contribution came later as a vote of thanks.  Uh huh.



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