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FAXON -- Hopeful news 10 Aug 1994 17:31 UTC

The text of this message is forwarded from David Fisher, with permission
from Joe Barker.  --bml
---------------------------------- Forwarded ----------------------------------

          Have you seen this announcement from Joe Barker yet? I
          believe his original posting went only to UC Acquisitions
          Heads but he granted me permission to forward it to you if
          you care to post it to SERIALST.

          Dave Fisher
          SIO Library
          Scripps Institution of Oceanography


Berkeley does NOT plan to shift its remaining Faxon business (some 4,000
titles) to other vendors.  I met with Mike Markwith and Ann McKee this
afternoon and expect, within 2 weeks, to get written guarantees from
publishers and from Faxon's bankers that Faxon will have paid in full its
debt, has the ability to meet its expenses, has a line of credit, and has
procedures in place to ensure that 1995 renewals will be paid in full.
        The structure of the Faxon company is to remain privately owned
and focussed on domestic academic, corporate, medical, and law libraries.
The company has a set of experienced and level-headed managers running it
collaboratively, under the ownership of Judy Davis.  I expect service to
improve with this less scattered emphasis on the company's mission.  I
never was enthusiastic about the globalization and diversification that
Faxon was led into by its former management.  The sale of Turner to EBSCO
is an opportunity for Faxon to focus further by not being involved in
school libraries.
        Faxon is continuing to develop Source and EDI, at a more realistic
pace (ready in time for 1996 renewals).  This still promises to be the
best of the online systems among all of the serials agents in the world.
Faxon's EDI developments are ahead of anyone else's, and Fritz Schwartz is
remaining with Faxon.
        I believe it is good that Faxon is not selling to another company.
What reassurances did we have that a publishing firm like Donnelly would
continue to emphasize library services?  None.  And if another serials
agent were to step in, this would reduce competition and result in higher
service charges and less leverage for customers in the long run.
        I will await the written verification of all of this, of course.
But not to extend such a promising company this short extension of our
patience would, in my mind, not be in Berkeley's best interests -- or the
best interests of North American libraries.
        I encourage other libraries to follow suit.  As we said months ago
when all of this began to worry us, if we all leave Faxon in a panic, the
company cannot possibly have the wherewithall to pull through.  Their
survival is in all our best interests.  Other companies have been compelled
into automation and research and development for years largely by the need
to compete with Faxon.  The most important and useful of Faxon's R & D is
continuing, and I look forward to it.
        JOE BARKER

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>From: Joe Barker <jbarker@library.Berkeley.EDU>
>Subject: FAXON -- Hopeful news
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