Re: ALA Midwinter Meeting-Changing Role of Serials Acq.Librarians... (Marla Schwartz) Marcia Tuttle 15 Feb 1999 11:53 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 17:45:50 -0500
From: Marla Schwartz <mschwar@AMERICAN.EDU>
Subject: Re: ALA Midwinter Meeting-Changing Role of Serials Acq.Librarians...

Report on "The Changing Role of Serials Acquisitions Librarians in the
Electronic Environment" by Pat Loghry, Head, Serials/Acquisitions,
University of Nevada-Reno, and Marla Schwartz, Head, Acquisitions and
Technical Systems, American University Law Library

 On Saturday, January 30, 1999, the ALCTS Serials Section Research
Libraries Discussion Group and the ALCTS Serials Section Acquisitions
Committee co-sponsored a discussion on "The Changing Role of Serials
Acquisitions Librarians in the Electronic Environment."  Jeremy Blatchley,
of Bryn Mawr, discussed the changes from the perspective of a smaller
institution and Carol Fleishauer from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT), spoke from the perspective of a larger institution.
Their brief talks were followed by a general discussion of the topic,
moderated by Lisa Macklin, Chair of the Discussion Group.

 After giving an overview of Bryn Mawr's collection size and budget,
Jeremy Blatchley said that Reference, Serials, and Systems all participate
in the decision-making for new electronic resources.  Blatchley felt that
this broad-based group is needed to determine which resources to purchase.
He stated that there was an increase in consortial buying, and discussed
pricing issues involved when working with more than one vendor to obtain a
product.  Blatchley noted that the electronic environment requires closer
and better communication with vendors to obtain discounts and finalize
contract needs.  He stated that his library no longer has one set time to
renew materials, that subscriptions for electronic serials are all on
differing schedules, and that tracking costs is more difficult.
Electronic resources have caused some policy changes such as no longer
needing to purchase complete runs and backfiles of a title, and purchasing
more materials on-demand. Bryn Mawr has a Web committee that establishes
Web pages and has developed a brief record template describing Web sites
for cataloging purposes.

 Carol Fleishauer stated that MIT's structure for handling electronic
journals was an evolutionary process beginning in fiscal year 1996-97
after a cancellation project freed up money for electronic resources.  A
task force formed to initiate the process became a standing committee made
up of reference, acquisitions, and subject specialists who developed a
system-wide perspective of available resources and negotiation skills.
MIT created a new position of Assistant Acquisitions Librarian for Digital
Resources, filled by Ellen Duranceau who had been the serials acquisitions
librarian, and subject specialists now have a sponsor role for products
they suggest.  Fleishauer stated that the process is now stable, and they
now have an expert in digital licensing and staff who have developed
negotiating skills.  Licenses have similarities and MIT has developed
alternate phrases to propose to vendors when they would like something
changed.  The down side of the new structure is that it has created a
division in the acquisitions/serials staff between the generalist and the
specialist, because licensing agreements require specialized knowledge.
While all catalogers catalog electronic resources, not all acquisitions
staff are involved in ordering electronic products.  If licenses become
more standardized in the future, other acquisitions/serials people will be
able to assist in the process.  A second problem is that electronic
resources require a central funding structure rather than all monies being
allotted to subject funds as is the current practice for print resources.
Fleishauer mentioned that she had noticed that the digital resources
position is more focused and that it illuminates just how fragmented our
jobs have become.

 The lively discussion that followed focused on license agreements and the
need for acquisitions and serials librarians to familiarize themselves
with the terminology used and to develop negotiating skills.  Resources
for accomplishing this include LIBLICENCE


and upcoming conferences such as the March 4 ARL/SLA Licensing
Videoconference and the third Electronic Serials Institute to be held
April 16-17 in Portland, Oregon.  It was mentioned that vendors are
usually willing to accommodate libraries' requests for changes in licenses
because they want to sell their product, and that often vendors start
selling electronic products before they are ready and prices are set.
Other issues discussed included archiving, statistics, check-in, claiming,
link-checking, and the role of paraprofessionals in the acquisitions
process.  At one library a paraprofessional responsible for initial
license review, vendor contact, and "virtual check-in" was promoted after
taking on these new responsibilities.


Marla Schwartz
Head, Acquisitions and Technical Systems
Washington College of Law Library
American University
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8182

Tiong Seng Neo wrote:

> Subject:      Re: ALA Midwinter Meeting-Changing Role of Serials Acq.
>               Librarians...
> Hi,
> Could someone please post a summary of this important meeting on Serialst
> after the event? Thank you.
> Neo Tiong Seng
> National Library Board, Singapore
> Email:
> ------------ Original message -------------
> From: Lisa Macklin <lisa.macklin@LIBRARY.GATECH.EDU> on 28/01/99 04:02:05
> AM
> Announcement - ALA Midwinter meeting
> Sponsored by:  ALCTS Serials Section Acquisitions Committee
>                ALCTS Serials Section Research Libraries Discussion Group
> Discussion Topic:  The Changing Role of Serials Acquisitions Librarians in
> the Electronic Environment
> When:  Saturday, January 30, 1999  9:30 - 11:00
> Where:  Hawthorn Suites, 1100 Vine Street, Franklin Room B
> Presenters:  Jeremy Blatchley (Bryn Mawr)
>              Carol Fleishauer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
> Come join us for a discussion of how librarians and library organization
> structures are evolving in response to the introduction of electronic
> serials in libraries, particularly the organization of serials and
> acquisitions departments.  One effect of acquiring electronic serials is
> the number of people involved in the decision-making process in serials
> acquisitions.  Specifically, many others (e.g. systems people, reference
> librarians, etc.) besides serials librarians are involved in the decision
> and in the acquisitions process.  Carol Fleishauer, of the Massachusetts
> Institute of Technology, and Jeremy Blatchley, of Bryn Mawr, will discuss
> these issues and present how they and their institutions have responded to
> these challenges.
> Marla Schwartz
> Chair, SS Acquisitions Committee
> Lisa Macklin
> Chair, SS Research Libraries Discussion Group
> Amira Aaron,
> Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect SS Research Libraries Discussion Group