Re: Library cancelations

From: Katherine Porter <>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 17:41:51 +0100

> From: Albert Henderson <>
> In the robust economy over the recent years, there was
> no urgency to "containing" library spending. Yet so many
> librarians have swollowed whole the administrative need
> to keep down or cut library spending.
> Let university cut its profits.

I am really tired of this argument. Whether the olden days were
"golden" or not, I think libraries today are doing a much better job
of supporting our users' information needs than we did when I started
in a chemistry library in 1980. Indeed we had more paper titles on the
shelves then than we do now, but we are providing more of what people
need today than we ever did then. I don't think the cancellation
projects hurt us nearly as much as Mr. Henderson would like to have the
world believe. What was the advantage of having runs of journals that
were never used and never cited? That certainly didn't make me a better
librarian or fill the information needs of the chemists any better than
the wide range of print and electronic titles we can supply today. The
chemists have told me this if I couldn't see it for myself.

Sure I'd like to have more money to spend on chemistry material. Who
wouldn't. But those dollars certainly wouldn't be used to buy more
print titles to gather dust on the shelves. I think we are wiser
consumers now and pay much more careful attention to acquiring
materials and access that are going to meet our patrons real needs.

Kitty Porter
Stevenson Science & Engineering Library
419 21st Avenue South
Vanderbilt University
Nashville TN 37240
Phone: 615-343-7106
Fax: 615-343-7249
Received on Wed Feb 10 1999 - 19:17:43 GMT

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