Future of Serials Librarians Marcia Tuttle 10 Aug 1995 15:57 UTC

2 messages:

Date:         Wed, 9 Aug 1995 14:59:41 MDT
From: Carol Fitzgerald <fitzgerc@TCPLINK.NREL.GOV>
Subject:      Re: Future of Serials Librarians (Virginia Hansen)

          When you consider the cost of preserving paper serials from
          deterioration, the fact that only one user has access at a
          time, the increased memory/image capacity of electronic
          storage and transmission now (and most certainly in the
          future), and the enhancement of searching electronic text
          versus using paper indexes or, even, using electronic
          databases and then finding the paper issuer, the move to
          e-journals seems not only advisable but critical to keeping
          up with the increased flow of information.  One of the MOST
          important factors to this changeover for me, however, is the
          alleviation of the environmental impact that paper journal
          production has had.

          The Serials Librarian?  The same for all Librarians:  stay
          ahead of the technology, plan for the future, learn the
          latest systems, demand the best (read:  most user-friendly
          and patron accessible) from the vendors.  Keep up with your
          colleagues to know not only the vendors' reliability but the
          credibility of what's being produced online.

          Most importantly, discourage systems that create a
          Librarians' advantage, like the encoded searching so long
          used by OCLC.  ENCOURAGE systems that help everyone find
          information on their own, at the least possible cost.  (This
          last concept is more than alien to many Librarians; it's
          downright frightening.  They believe they'll be giving up
          their very profession.)  If we want to see Librarianship
          still vital and important in the 21st century, we need to
          let it evolve to a level that is truly **information**
          management (not paper parcel handling and warehousing).  The
          Serials Librarian **could** be on the very cusp of
          Librarianship, managing the ever-increasing flow of the most
          up-to-date information streaming through the NET.

          Carol Fitzgerald
          NREL Library, Golden, CO

Date:         Thu, 10 Aug 1995 07:58:26 EDT
From: W Ted Rogers <WTR100F@ODUVM.CC.ODU.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Future of Serials Librarians (Virginia Hansen)

RE:the future of serials librarianship.

I do not foresee any major threat to the need for a position like that
of a serials librarian at this time nor in the immediate future. E-serials
at this time are more of a supplement to print, not a replacement for print.
When publishers move completely to electronic dissemination, the vast
majority of e-serials (just like their print counterparts) will have some
sort of cost. Therefore, there will be a need for someone to handle the
invoicing, etc. Another point favouring the continued existence of serials
librarians is on-site archiving. Unless libraries wish to give up all
control over what they make available to their users, there will have to
be some sort of local archiving of e-serials. I do not see libraries
turning over control of what is made available to some outside organization
that maintains a gopher server or a web site (or some future variation
thereof). Therefore, someone to handle this local archiving function will
still be necessary. All of this leads me to believe that the future of
serials librarianship is fairly secure, but this future will possibly
bring some dramatic changes to serials librarians' job descriptions.

W Ted Rogers, Serials Librarian
Old Dominion University Library, Norfolk, VA 23529-0256
Ph.: 804 683-4144        Fax: 804 683-5035
Internet: <wtr100f@shakespeare.lib.odu.edu
      or: <wtr100f@oduvm.cc.odu.edu
"Il n'est pas question de rejeter la technique. Nous ne
pouvons pas regresser, nous sommes obliges de passer a
travers la technique. Et pour cela nous devons combattre
l'objet technique, nous mesurer avec lui."
-- Paul Virilio, in "Esclaves de la vitesse [interview]",
POLITIS-MAGAZINE, no.19 (1994:July/Aug.), p.75.
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