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Re: Serials Ordering TSANDERS@AUDUCVAX.BITNET 27 Aug 1991 14:05 UTC

At Auburn University, faculty members may request new subscriptions through
their bookchairman (there are 59 bookchairmen covering 114 academic
departments).  We require that they fill out a request form based on one
developed elsewhere (Arizona or Arizona State, I think) which documents the
need for the title (personal research, student use by estimated X number of
students, etc.) and the professor's ranking of the journal.  These requests
are then reviewed by the subject reference departments, which may request
samples, etc., and at this time information is added to the request about
indexing, number of other journals we hold in this subject area, etc.  Then
the request is reviewed by our Periodicals Review Committee (composed of 2
librarians--the Collection Development Librarian and the Serials Acquisitions
Librarian--and 3 faculty members representing essentially Humanities,
Social Sciences and Science/Technology.  If the committee rejects the request,
the faculty member can appeal to the committee.  (Titles requested by
subject bibliographers are also reviewed by this committee.)

So far this system has worked fairly well.  While the PRC has approved anywhere
from 85-95% of the titles brought to it,
 depending on the year, the pre-PRC
process where the faculty and subject bibliographers work together has tended
to restrict requests to real needs.  In the past 8 years we have added anywhere
from $15-50,000 a year in new subscriptions (not counting CD-Roms and databases,
   which go through a different committee).  We charge the first year against
departmental book funds and later years against continuing obligations.

As with so many other libraries, we will probably be cutting subscriptions this
year, although I am not yet sure how drastically.  I am working on doing call#
profiles for each book chairman as a means of getting maximum faculty
participation.  This is not terribly easy because there is so much interdisci-
plinary work going on.  We hope to allow all interested faculty a voice.

Thomas Sanders, Serials, Auburn University, AL (tsanders@auducvax)