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Unsolicited Journals Birdie MacLennan 07 Apr 1992 01:41 UTC

2 messages, 75 lines:

Date:         Mon, 6 Apr 1992 09:42:00 EDT
From:         ts6 <Terry_A_SAYLER@UMAIL.UMD.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Unsolicited Journals

At the University of Maryland College Park we learned a few years ago to
just discard any unsolicited material that the bibliographers decide is not
to be added.  We do no investigation as to how or why it's being sent and we
do not acknowledge.  Once we sent a letter similar to yours only to receive
an irate reply that the subscription had been a gift...needless to say the
reply caused some distress, hence our decision to let well enough alone and
just discard.

The only searching that is done with unidentified material involves
determining that it is not a title change.  Issues are kept in a separate
area near the Kardex and reviewed every quarter.  If they have stopped
coming and are not wanted by the bibliographer, they are discarded.  If
they continue to come and are not wanted, they are added to our discard
        Terry Sayler, McKeldin Library, UMaryland, College Park

Date:         Mon, 6 Apr 1992 09:09:00 EST
Subject:      Re: Unsolicited Journals

        Here at the University of Miami, we get a mountain of unsolicited
material every month.  If no checkin record exists, the material is checked
against our discard file, if nothing exists there indicating a dispensation,
then the title is checked in OCLC to assure it is not a title change.  If
it is not, the material is forwarded to the appropriate bibliographer with
a 3 x 5 card attached requesting a decision from them to 1. discard
                                                         2. set up subscription
                                                         3. other

        If a subscription is requested, the material goes into the queue
awaiting funding.  If it is to be discarded it goes to a jobber provided
it is not ephemeral and unwanted by any jobbers.  The other category
usually involves the forwarding of the material to either the subject
specialist or one of the Academic Faculty.  Those 3 x 5 cards are filed
in the discard file so that the next time a previously received title
arrives it will be dispensed.

        This might sound like a lot of work, but its all done by our work study
students, which I realize we are lucky to have!!  This process is also very
good PR for the Serials Dept.  Bibliographers and Academic Faculty like
having that sample issue in hand since it is a true representation of what
a publication is.  One man's garbage is another man's gold!

        We shouldn't forget that publishers are a for profit industry.  We,
as Librarians, must act as the bridge between them and our non-profit public.

        More and more I am noticing that publication packages are no longer
available, supplements must be ordered individually, etc.  The publisher
does this of course, to make a buck.  First they send you a subscription
which includes a supplement or another title, it can't be ordered separately,
then a couple of years down the road they change the rules and say Must
Order Separately.  Well they know that once a Library has v.1:1 of something
they want to continue the run.  I think we need to stop being sucked in by
this and that's one of the reasons that we foward unidentified material to
bibliographers and make them tell us whether the material merits a
subscription or not.  If it doesn't stand on its own, it doesn't stand at
all.  We never consider anything to be "free", afterall, it has to be
processed and bound which cost money.

        We all have our pet peeves and I think we do need to sound off every
now and again in order to keep our sanity and to remind people that we
are not complacent.  But I think we also have to try and walk a mile in the
shoes of both the Patron and the Publisher since our role is to bring those
worlds together as best we can.

Christine J. Christiansen
Serials Acquisitions Librarian
University of Miami