Re: Serials Reading Rooms Stokes, Judith 29 Oct 2008 02:28 UTC

Dear Mildred,

These days, a print periodicals reading room should be full of magazines -- not just popular ones -- Nature and Science do qualify as magazines, because there still are aspects of their print editions -- illustrations, specialized news features and other short  informative items (in addition to substantial articles) that many readers still browse more pleasurably in print. Unlike magazines, strictly scholarly journals which are: (1) fully described in their tables of contents, which will usually list 6 to 12 peer-reviewed articles with detailed descriptive titles, usually abstracts, too, and maybe some book reviews; and (2) easily browsed from their online TOCs; should be selected for virtual reading rooms. For a print reading room, magazines are your best bet, not just for the illustrations that are so often omitted from online versions, but for their varied content: news and interviews and sidebars and charts and lists and inventive graphics and other informative bits -- sometimes even the advertisements -- that draw readers to flip paper pages and enjoy browsing in that way.

Good luck,
Judith Stokes
Rhode Island College
Providence, RI 02908

From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum [] On Behalf Of Mildred Merz [merz@OAKLAND.EDU]
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 5:26 PM
Subject: [SERIALST] Serials Reading Rooms

Our library is relinquishing our large "current journals" reading room for a
much smaller area.  Our "current journals" room now contains all of the
recent issues of newspapers and journals/magazines that we subscribe to in
print.  That number, of course, is ever shrinking.

In anticipating our smaller space, we have started re-thinking what the
purpose of the "current journals" area should be in the future.  We are
thinking that instead of just being what we get in print that it should be a
more carefully chosen group of journals/newspapers.  Perhaps the titles in
"current journals" should be the core or essential titles, AND/OR perhaps
they should be the more popular/readable titles that students and faculty
would enjoy having in print.  We have noticed at least two libraries that
have created what they call "virtual reading rooms."   Perhaps the physical
area could be the popular/fun to read titles plus the very important
interdisciplinary titles (like Nature and Science).  The "virtual reading
room" could be the core/essential titles.

Has any other library dealt with this issue?  What should be in a journals
reading room?  Millie Merz

Mildred H. Merz
Associate Professor
Kresge Library
Oakland University
Rochester, MI 48309-4484
Phone: 248-370-2457; Fax: 248-370-2474