Re: NOT the "Serials Crisis" -- Dan Lester Stephen Clark 26 Sep 2002 14:48 UTC

-------- Original Message --------
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 08:17:42 -0600
From: Dan Lester <>
Subject: NOT the "Serials Crisis"

Thursday, September 26, 2002, 6:26:34 AM, you wrote:

SC> on Wed, 25 Sep 2002 Dan Lester <> wrote:

SC>  > Thanks for the new ideas. I'm going to talk to some colleagues about
SC>  > ways we could measure our failures.  I'd also appreciate suggestions
SC>  > from other list members who might have read this far.  Perhaps that
SC>  > should be started as a new thread instead of as yet one more response
SC>  > on this one.

Note that I started a new thread title.

SC>         You might like to read "The Library Collection
SC>         Failure Quotient" in Journal of Academic
SC>         Librarianship [26:159-170. 2000]

I read it when it came out and had forgotten it, unfortunately. I just
printed it again and will reread.  Perhaps part of the problem is
disagreeing with you on this being a "failure".  The article
conclusion begins "If the measure of library service is that
patrons obtain what they seek when they seek it, the CFQ is indeed an
indicator of failure."  If I come in and seek the Gutenberg Bible and
don't get it right away, is that a failure?  If I come in and ask for
a rare book published in 1775 and owned by only thirty libraries in
the country, is that a failure?  If I come in and ask for a copy of my
English 101 textbook, and the library, by policy, doesn't purchase
textbooks, is that a failure?  Examples abound, of course.

To put it in context of other parts of our lives, if I go into
McDonalds and can't get a burger within three minutes, that's a
failure.  If I go into fine restaurant and can't get my entree in
three minutes, that isn't a failure.  In this day and age a great many
of us, myself included, have high and often unrealistic expectations.
As always, this is not an indication that libraries are adequately
funded.  They should receive much more funding, and we should continue
to use whatever means possible to increase that funding.

SC> While I love a good debate can we stop talking about the "Serials
SC> Crisis" please?  I'd like some other topics to get an airing on the

The "Serials Crisis" isn't an appropriate topic for a list devoted to
serials?  I'm sure that any topics that anyone posts that relate in
any way to serials will get approved by the moderators.  After all, we
just had a long thread on strange serials titles, that I'm sure some
on the list must have considered frivolous or inappropriate (I'm not
one of them; I thought it was fun)

But, if it is any consolation, I can't think of much more that Albert
and I could say on this topic.  At least not much more that I could


Dan Lester, Data Wrangler 208-283-7711
3577 East Pecan, Boise, Idaho  83716-7115 USA  Stop Global Whining!