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Re: Direct subscriptions Buck, Tina Herman 24 May 2004 21:13 UTC

We receive in the neighborhood of 600 periodical titles, going to more
than 26 agencies (branches).  I can't imagine the headache of doing this
with direct subscriptions, for our Acquisitions department alone, much
less what our financial office would think of issuing all of those
individual checks.  Weigh your time as well as theirs.

Weigh the other benefits a subscription agent can offer, such as
management reports (price history, online availability, subject
breakdown, for instance), as well as regular & convenient notification
of cessations, suspensions, and changes to title and frequency. They can
provide you with a list of titles you receive, the number of copies, the
subscription dates, ISSNs, publication schedule, and other handy info,
as well as a source of information for titles you're considering. (An
especially handy feature with our agent is seeing the difference in cost
for various shipping options.) An agents' online claiming service is
likely to be much quicker than placing claims with individual
publishers.  Many agents provide a free/low-cost "missing copy bank". We
also look to our agent for assistance managing e-journals.

Your 165 subscriptions is a significant number, especially given that
your staff (I assume) is commensurately smaller than a library receiving
many more subscriptions.  My suggestion is to handle directly only the
titles that an agent can't; that will be time-consuming enough.  At
least have a few agents visit and give you their spiel -- even obtain
price quotes for your title list -- so that you know all the

Best of luck,

Tina Herman Buck
Collection and Bibliographic Services
Hennepin County Library
fax: 952-847-8642

-----Original Message-----
From: Laura Milliman [mailto:lmilliman@VW.VCCS.EDU]
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 1:41 PM
Subject: [SERIALST] Direct subscriptions

I am new to this list. Would like to know about feasibility of direct
subscriptions. I have searched the archives, but without standard
headings it is difficult to gather all the information in one place. Are
there any published articles or chapters that deal with this issue?
I understand that direct subscriptions would not be practical for larger
libraries. However, we only have 165 current subscriptions. Would
with this small amount of titles make a difference?  Are there types of
titles, such as monographs or newspapers for which ordering direct might
make a difference?
Thank you.

Laura Milliman
Brown Library
Virginia Western Community College
PO Box 40012
Roanoke, VA 24022-0012