Re: new serials librarian seeking advice regarding microfilm (Julie M. Smith) Stephen Clark 21 Jun 1999 20:07 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 15:45:14 -0400
From: "Julie M. Smith" <SMITH_JU@TLC.LIB.OH.US>
Subject: Re: new serials librarian seeking advice regarding microfilm


Do what you can to keep the microfilm (and to keep getting more).  As others
have stated, you don't know how much the electronic copies will cost in the
future and ads aren't included.  Plus, what are you going to do if the service
you buy your backfiles from goes under?  Hopefully there will be another
company which has backfiles, but will they cover the same serials and the
same time frame?  The idea of surveying users is a great one (as long as the
only respondents aren't the ones advocating no microfilm).

Another consideration is technnology.  No one is sure how long electronic data
will last.  (Microfilm lasts around a hundred years or so.)  As technology for
storing media changes, so does the equipment that reads it.  If the company
does not update its storage medium (i.e. floppy to CD to DVD) at some point
in the future you may not be able to access journals housed on the old
medium because the equipment is not available.

It may sound kind of like a "duh" statement, but do a literature search.
There is an amazing amount written on the topics of e-journals and technology
snafus.  Also, if SERIALIST has an archive, search it, too.  There has been a
lot written on the topic.  (If not, let me know.  I've saved many of the
messages about e-journals on good, old fashion paper.  But then again, the
messages were printed on a laser printer and no one knows how long laser
ink lasts.)

Welcome to the profession!

Julie M. Smith
Business Dept.
Toledo-Lucas County Public Library


Neal-Schuman is publishing a new book, _Preserving Digital Information_.  You
may want to look at it for other ideas.