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Switching to electronic (SUMMARY) Heinrich C. Kuhn 27 Jul 1995 14:39 UTC

Dear Listmembers,

   on Friday 14th I reported on this list about inten-
tions of one of our libraries to stop subscriptions to
some bibliographic and other serials and offer instead
access to databases and EDD to its patrons. Here is the
summary of the answers (lots of thanks to Linwood Delong,
Ann Ercelawn, Conny Foster, Irene Jarrett, Jane Wang, Otto
Weipert!!!) I received to this request and a similar one
on LIB-L (in some cases I add some comments of my own bet-
ween double parentheses):

A)   The library on behalf of which I sent the request
     is not alone: There are several other libraries,
     who think about "switching to electronic" as well.

B)   There are several libraries, that already made
     that switch. None of them did experience adverse
     reactions from their patrons. Switching to elec-
     tronic has helped these libraries to reduce costs.

C)   There are worries about "dependence on vendors for
     'access'" and about copyright-charges for EDD
     rising in future.  ((I think it might be indeed
     unwise to cancel subscriptions to serials one is
     the only known library to have. Concerning copy-
     right charges I think we are living in a phase of
     transition: They will probably rise indeed, but
     then completely vanish, as ejournals financed the
     "Stevan-Harnad-way" will take over.))

D)   A member of an organisation offering biblio-
     graphical information both on paper and via
     online-hosts argued in favour of keeping the
     printed version in order to permit browsing,
     and to avoid incalculable cost for online searches,
     in order not to have to train many patrons for
     those searches etc.. She advised us, to use a
     future CD-ROM-version of her product instead of
     online access. ((I know very few patrons wishing to
     browse in bibliographical serials of the size
     of the one in question. With the rest of the
     problems I think we can cope, as we offer
     "guided" researches by specialists for online-
     searches. I'm still waiting for further infor-
     mation on the CD-ROM-product in question.))

Thanks again to all who responded! If additional answers
should arrive, I'd try to summarise again.
Thanks for the help!

Heinrich C. Kuhn

* Dr. Heinrich C. Kuhn      Max-Planck-Gesellschaft /GV IIb3
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