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Re: Print vs. electronic serials in public libraries -- Mark Ferguson Stephen Clark 12 Apr 2002 14:50 UTC

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Print vs. electronic serials in public libraries -- Abby
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 10:57:16 -0400
From: Mark Ferguson <mferguson@CSE.EDU>


I am at a small catholic college library with limited financial
and will be struggling with this same question soon. I have canceled
microform subscriptions to journals we also receive online.  I have yet
cancel paper subscriptions for the same reason, though this may be
I have however denied requests for paper subscriptions of journals that
currently available electronicly on one of our databases.  I'm not
this is the best responce to this situation.  We are in the process of
formulating a policy regarding these matters.
        Along with the ever present issue of limited financial resourses
to pay
for all titles we want in all formats, two issues seem to be
critical from our perspective.  The first issue is simply keeping track
all the full text journals one has access to.  Unlike paper journals
stays consistant until you the librarian desides to change its
subscriptions, the list of full text journals available in various
is constantly changing and tracking these changes takes alot of time.
Services like those offered by Serials Solutions, which will track these
changes for you (of course for a price) may be the answer to this; we
yet to try it.  It does not however get around the fact that depending
databases for access to periodicals necessarily means libraries must
sacrifice a certain ammount of control  over their own periodical
collections.  Database venders determine which periodicals are available
online rather than librarians.  The second, not unrelated issue is the
archival issue of whether one can be assured that electronic full text
access will be available indefinately (as is true with paper and
formats).  OCLC First Search's ECO (Electronic Collections Online)
apparently provides electronic access to journals you already subscribe
for a nominal fee and guarentees access to the full text in perpetuity.
This may be a solution.
        I am sure there are other products and services out there that
provide solutions to these difficult issues.  I would be very interested
hearing from other periodical librarians about their own experiences
these products and others and their own ideas on these matters. I will
monitoring this discussion closely.
        Thanks for raising the issue.

Mark Ferguson, Mahoney Library, College of St. Elizabeth

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: print vs. electronic serials in public libraries
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 11:45:02 -0500
From: Abby Schor <aschor@AHML.LIB.IL.US>

I am at a mid-sized public library, and we are currently considering the
issue of print vs. electronic periodicals.  We have seen the use of our
paper periodicals drop, while electronic resource use goes up.  Our
paper collection seems to be used more for recreational or leisure
purposes, while students and others doing research rely on electronic
databases.  Do any of you have a formula or other way to determine how
much of your budget to devote to paper (or micoform) periodicals and how
much for electronic databases?  As an Illinois library, we are fortunate
to have free access to many FirstSearch databases, and we subscribe to
several of the Gale products (such as General Reference Center, Expanded
Academic, General Business File, and Health Reference Center). Do you
drop a subscription to a little-used paper or microform product if your
vendor provides it full text?  Do you have a policy covering such
decisions?  I'd be interested in anything you'd like to share about th!
is, particularly from other public libraries.

Abby Schor
Collection Specialist
Arlington Heights Memorial Library
500 N. Dunton Avenue
Arlington Heights, Illinois  60004
847-870-4310 (voice)
847-392-0136 (fax)