Space is at a premium in the small university library where I work.
The periodical collection is limited on how much space it can take up. So we
do several things with the older issues of periodicals.
Periodicals with lots of photographs that would not come across well on
microfilm (i.e. Architectural Digest and National Geographic) are bound.
Some periodicals we only keep the paper issues for a period of time.
Usually for 3 to 5 years, with the older issues being offered to patrons.
When the time for retention is passed.
The bulk of our older periodicals are on microfilm, with a small portion
of it on microfiche. This means that we can keep a larger amount of back
We subscribe to a good number of periodicals in paper. We retain the paper
issues until the microfilm comes in, we then pull the paper issues. These are
offered to other libraries or to our patrons. The patrons seem to enjoy our
periodical discard table. Certain titles seem to disappear fairly rapidly with
some patrons requesting a title when it is up for discard. Our patrons do not
seem to mind the microfilmed issues as long as the reader/printer is working.
As of this time we have a paper periodical list. This lists where a title
can be located and in what format. (i.e. 1981-1992 microfilm, 1993 paper).
This is very useful when patrons have to use paper indexes. The list is
updated two or three times a year. We have a CD-ROM database for periodical
indexing, this prints out a holding note that says the current year is in
paper with older years in microfilm.
Once our patrons learn the system they seem to navigate fairly well. The
most common question is that they can not locate a certain roll of microfilm.
Eventually we hope to get the periodical titles listed in our computer card
catalog, but that will be down the road a bit.
Hope this gives some possible ideas.
Southern Arkansas University