Keeping Up with Library Acquisitions Literature

Last month I was part of a panel discussion in a session of a collection development class in our university's School of Information and Library Science. As a follow-up to that session, the instructor asked us via email how we keep up with developments in our field. I took this not only as an information question, but it also felt like a challenge: Am I keeping up with developments in my field?

E-Books and the Publishing Marketplace: Library-Publisher Relations

Next week, American Library Association leaders will meet with executives from three of the biggest publishing houses in the U.S. to discuss a circulation model for those publishers' e-books. This meeting was initiated by ALA. Keith Fiels, ALA executive director, said, “I want to assure you that the dialog will begin with us saying ‘you need to deal with libraries and you need to do this as soon as possible,’ then we can have a dialog  starting from there,” Fiels said. “I think for the membership, this is what’s keeping people awake at night.” Fiels's statement reflects a sense of urgency among libraries about our role in information provision and service to our constituents.

Keys to Successful Approval Plan Management

There is an article in the latest Library Resources & Technical Services issue, “Literature of Acquisitions in Review, 2008-9,” by Jeanne Harrell. Overall, it's an excellent snapshot of recent developments in library acquisitions and broad in its coverage. In the section “Approval Plans” she cites another article, “Collection Development and Outsourcing in Academic Health Sciences Libraries: A Survey of Current Practices” (Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 87, no. 2 (Apr. 1999): 178-86) that reported a “direct correlation between the size of a library's materials budget and its use of approval plans,” such that libraries with larger budgets are more likely to use approval plans. She mentions also that approval plans are a “time-saving tool for subject librarians with increasing demands on their time.” While these observations come directly from an article (which I haven't read yet) that looked at health sciences libraries, the results jibe with my experience in academic libraries with broader collecting practices, and which rely more heavily on monographs than I think health sciences libraries do.

Given the value of approval plans to academic libraries in particular, here I offer observations on factors affecting the success of approval plans in libraries.

SERU: Not Just for E-journals Anymore?

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced earlier this month “A Draft Recommended Practice” (RP) with respect to the Shared Electronic Resource Understanding (SERU). It expands SERU beyond e-journals to other types of e-resources, namely e-books. NISO is seeking public comment on this draft through February 19, 2012.

A Brief History of ACQWEB, ACQNET-L and the Internet, and a Call for Participation

ACQWEB and ACQNET-L have been around for, in Internet terms, a long, long time. ACQNET's first post was about 21 years ago! ACQWEB dates back to 1994 and offered a directory of publishers and vendors, and other tools for library acquisitions. Both of these resources greatly facilitated communication among acquisitions librarians. The list put colleagues in touch with one another faster and more broadly than before email lists were in vogue. The website's collocation of job-specific information made it invaluable for one-off orders from distant parts of the world, or for rare and unusual books.

Centrality as a Framework for Professional Success

Deliberately adopting the stance that my role is central to my library's success helped me find direction and purpose as an acquisitions librarian. I share this not because I want to assert the centrality of acquisitions to a library, but because I think the notion of centrality is widely applicable and useful as a framework in understanding one's role in a large organization.

Bibliographic Searching Redux

I titled last week's blog post “Doing Less with Less.” Too bad I used that up: it looks like that could be a recurring theme! I've already asked whether bibliographic searching is still needed in research libraries and I'm going back to that question today. I'm on the cusp of deciding simply to find out on my own whether we can stop searching entirely.

Doing Less With Less

For as long as I have worked in library technical services, which is about 18 years, a constant trend has been that technological changes have enhanced the development and exchange of digital information, which in turn has allowed technical services to realize greater working efficiencies, resulting in fewer staff who accomplish more, faster.

E-Books: Serials, Monographs or Both?

I'm the guest lecturer in a School of Information and Library Science serials class tonight. The title for today's session is “E-Books: Serials, Monographs, or Both?” I need to organize my thoughts so I don't ramble on like I did last time I talked with this class, when the topic was "Standing Orders: Serials, Monographs, or Both?”

Charleston Conference, 2011 pt. 2

A week later, I'm still trying to process all the information that washed over me at the Charleston Conference.

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