LRTS Abstracts

Vol. 48, No. 4

Identifying the Serial Work As a Bibliographic Entity

Kristin Antelman

A solid theoretical foundation has been built over the years exploring the bibliographic work and developing cataloging rules and practices to describe the work in the traditional catalog. With the increasing prevalence of multiple manifestations of serial titles, as well as tools that automate discovery and retrieval, bibliographic control of serials at a higher level of abstraction is more necessary than ever before. At the same time, models such as the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records offer new opportunities to control all bibliographic entities at this higher level and build more useful catalog displays. The bibliographic mechanisms that control the work for monographs—author, title, and uniform title—are weak identifiers for serials. New identifiers being adopted by the content industry are built on models and practices that are fundamentally different from those underlying the new bibliographic models. What is needed is a work identifier for serials that is both congruent with the new models and can enable us to meet the objective of providing work-level access to all resources in our catalogs.

A Circulation Analysis of Print Books and E-Books in an Academic Research Library Title

Justin Littman and Lynn Silipigni Connaway

In order for collection development librarians to justify the adoption of electronic books (e-books), they need to determine if e-books satisfy the information needs of patrons. One method to determine this is to measure e-book usage. This study compared the usage of 7,880 titles that were available in both print and e-book format at the Duke University Libraries. Although the results of this study cannot be generalized, it does provide information on the use of e-books in one academic research library and implications for e-book collection development.

Surveying the Stacks: Collecting Data and Analyzing Results with SPSS

Mary Ellen Starmer and Dea Miller Rice

In fall 2002, the University of Tennessee Preservation Office conducted a condition survey of circulating materials in the school’s John C. Hodges main library. The objective of the collection condition survey was to evaluate the physical condition of the collection and the effect of human and environmental factors in order to develop a long-range preservation plan. The project used a random sampling method, and a database and online survey form created with SPSS software. The results of the survey contribute an understanding of the national preservation picture. Locally, the results indicate action should be taken in several areas, including environmental conditions, staff and patron education, and reformatting. Other libraries in the early stages of establishing a preservation program can employ the techniques used in Hodges Library to develop their own preservation plans.

Collection Development Embraces the Digital Age A Review of the Literature, 1997–2003

Linda L. Phillips and Sara R. Williams

Collection development and management literature of the past seven years reveals distinct trends among issues, philosophy, and practice. Digital age themes reflect the increasingly networked nature of the profession, with new attention focused on scholarly communications and publishing, digital collection building, consortial collaboration, and quantitative assessment. Some issues that dominated the library literature a few years ago, such as access versus ownership and organizational structure, have been eclipsed by other challenges, such as the serials crisis, finance and budgeting, and licensing. Neither solved nor forgotten, they have taken backstage to trendier subjects. Publications on organization, training, professional development, management of print collections, and subject-oriented collection development from 1997 through 2003 generally indicate reliance on traditional skills and knowledge even though practitioners are applying practical approaches to new formats and types of media. More theoretical commentary on fundamental changes emanating from an increasingly networked environment comes from authors who explore the implications of collection building in the digital age and challenge readers to imagine a vastly different future for collection development practice.

Criteria for Replacing Print Journals with Online Journal Resources: The Importance of Sustainable Access

William H. Walters

Long-term sustainability should be a primary concern of librarians deciding whether to replace print subscriptions with online journal resources. This article describes the six criteria used at St. Lawrence University to determine whether particular online resources can be regarded as acceptable substitutes for print. Three conventional criteria—completeness, timeliness, and reliability—are supplemented by three others that focus on the legal, economic, and organizational components of sustainable access. Together, these six criteria can be used to draw an important distinction between permanent subscriptions and supplementary resources. Although the replacement of print subscriptions with nonsustainable resources can sometimes reduce short-term costs, it also increases long-term risk by making sustainability of access contingent on sustainability of payments.