Date: 23 Mar 1993 15:02:51 -0500 (EST)
From: Kate McCain <MCCAINKW@DUVM.BITNET>
Subject: RE: Photocopying front covers/TOCs
May I offer a user's point of view on copying TOC. Our university library
used to provide this service to faculty and it was much valued. There were
two services, actually, one for science & engineering faculty and one for
everyone else. The science faculty in particular found the service so valuable
that, when it was cancelled in an early round of budget cuts, their agitation
brought it back (though I don't remember what the trade-off was). We have had
more and more drastic budget cuts since, and this wonderful, but
labor-intensive service was lost. I really miss it. We also have access to
CARL with the "ability to browse 10K titles" but it ain't the same! For one
thing, the CARL entries are less informative than the journal title pages. For
another, there is the access issue -- both in terms of hard-copy on hand vs
sending a file to the printer, and the ability to dial into CARL in the first
place. I'm pretty sure that all faculty here at Drexel still do not have
office-level Internet access to CARL; adding printing facilities to that and
you have additional problems. It also takes a different kind of time to
browse CARL vs a stack of photocopies in your briefcase.
CARL access has its advantages. We were limited to title pages of those
journals we owned; CARL covers lots more. Keyword searching, though primitive,
offers some of the features of CC on Disk. I would argue, though, that
true browsing is more difficult in electronic form than in hard copy --
when you don't know what you are looking for but you recognize neat stuff when
you find it. I had a fairly long list of sociology journals and some management
titles as well as the full range of L&IS journals on my list. The idea of
typing each into CARL to see if a new issue has come out is fairly onerous.
We need a scripted front-end for true browsability.
I guess my moral is -- it's obviously more cost-efficient from the library's
point of view to "migrate" users from TOC services to CARL. We recognize the
facts of life as well as you do (particularly those of us IN L&IS). Just
don't try to convince us that we will be just as happy or that it's really
the same thing. It isn't. But it's the best we can afford.
Kate McCain "die Gedankenexperimente sind frei!!!"
firstname.lastname@example.org (and damn near little else is)