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Re: Curriculum for a course on Electronic Resources or ER Librarianship? Steve Oberg 01 Aug 2007 21:03 UTC


I have proposed just such a course to the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign GSLIS, where I sometimes teach as an adjunct.  The course I
teach is called Technical Services Functions and covers everything including
serials and e-resources.  The new course would have this one as a
prerequisite and would delve in much more detail and focus into e-resources
management.  Below is a very minimal, off-the-cuff proposed course outline.
There is support for this course but not enough yet in my opinion to make it
a reality.  It is long overdue, frankly (note that there never has been, to
my knowledge, a course dedicated entirely to serials at UIUC GSLIS), and it
is something that my students regularly ask for.  Yet it is very hard to
"sell" what many LIS faculty view as a traditional library course as a new
element in a curriculum that is already full of so many other things.  This
in spite of the sea change begun in the 90s with regard to e-resources and
the amount of time, energy, and thought given to managing them in most
libraries.  Also, I do not view such a course as traditional necessarily --
it would be designed to provide useful information in a wide variety of
library or library-like contexts.  But again, it is hard to "sell" that, at
least at this school.  Things move slooooooowly.  Which is all the more
aggravating because e-resources are changing the landscape of librarianship
very quickly and students, I think, are missing out on a vital part of what
most of them in some form or another will likely have to deal with in the

I have shared this with a few others, e.g. Jill Grogg who is an adjunct at
Alabama, I think.  Comment, criticisms, suggestions are welcome.

Electronic Resources Management: A Suggested Course Outline

I. Definitions and Distinctions
      a. What is an e-resource?
      b. How does it differ from and how is it similar to other, more
traditional library materials?
      b. Overlap with integrated library systems work, serials management,
acquisitions, collection development, etc.

II. Conceptual Framework
      a. Access vs. ownership for libraries
      b. Effect of living in an Amazon/Google/iTunes worlds
      c. Relevance and authority issues for e-resources vs. other
library material
      d. Virtual vs. in-person library service

III. Types of E-Resources
      a. E-journals
      b. Websites
      c. E-books
      d. Databases
      e. Other

IV. Management Challenges
      a. Diversity of selection and workflow processes
      b. Explosive growth in availability
      c. Preservation issues
      d. Issues for intellectual access (e.g. website lists or links vs.
traditional cataloging vs. other methods for organization)
      e. Licensing and copyright
      f. Fiscal resources
      g. Balancing "traditional" vs. e-content
      h. Rapid change and high user demand
      i. Evaluation of use vs. cost and other metrics

V. System Tools for Managing E-Resources
      a. Locally developed
      b. Commercial tools
      c. Classes or categories of tools (e.g. OpenURL resolvers vs. ILSs
vs. ERMS vs. Other)

On 8/1/07, Amy Carlson <> wrote:
> Hi--
> Has anyone participated, organized or heard of a Library and Information
> Science course specifically about Electronic Resources management or about
> Electronic Resources Librarianship? If so, would you be willing to share
> information with me?
> I've seen many examples of Serials Librarianship or Technical Services,
> but I headn't seen any examples of ER courses in Library Schools. Thank
> you so much!
> Amy Carlson
> Serials Department
> Hamilton Library
> University of Hawai'i at Manoa
> 808.956.7692