Re: Library failure (RE: NOT the "Serials Crisis" -- Dan Lester)-- -- Rick Anderson Stephen Clark 30 Sep 2002 14:55 UTC

-------- Original Message --------
From: "Rick Anderson" <>
Subject: RE: Library failure (RE: NOT the "Serials Crisis" -- Dan
Lester)-- Thomas McCaffrey
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2002 07:45:20 -0700

 > Perhaps a patron of the Library of Congress, or one of the great
libraries of the world, would have an expectation of finding the
Gutenberg bible, but for most libraries, no.

But if the patron _has_ come to my library looking for the Gutenberg
Bible, and I don't have it, then I've failed that patron.  Period.  That
doesn't mean I'm not doing a good job; it just means that I'm not
meeting my patron's need.

Let me try to make my point a bit clearer.  I'm not saying that every
library ought to have a copy of the Gutenberg Bible.  I'm saying that we
should look at our success or failure through our patrons' eyes, not our
own.  It doesn't matter to the patron whether we're doing as well as
could reasonably be expected.  What matters to the patron is whether we
have what's needed (or wanted).

 > And I take great exception with your expression of "right
 > away"--There is a difference between providing good service,
 > and being "fast".

Not if our patrons need the information fast.

Rick Anderson
Director of Resource Acquisition
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno          "Beware any theory that
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