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Progress, or not.

March 9, 2015

Well, the season progresses, with or without us. Seeing such monumental change (here, at least) in a matter of weeks is impressive, and to think that it happens every year. Every season is in preparation for the next, and we prepare and progress, or not.

Back to one of my favorite topics, that of paying more and more for less and less access to scholarly publishing. The serials crisis has been a “crisis” since 1982 (the first year I was able to find the quoted phrase “serials crisis” in published literature in a review by Grathwol). Has this crisis been solved or abated yet? I think not.

Herbert White (p32-33, 1981) calculated that libraries first spent more on journals than books in 1973, and we have lived with this crisis ever since. Why is this a crisis? Are we wise to expend the majority of library dollars on current literature? What are the alternatives and how can dollars be better spent? If distribution costs essentially nothing these days, where are the cost increases going? Do we simply not understand solving the political problems that have cropped up? How flawed are our perceptions, and can we get patrons on our side?

Ah, sorry to burden you with my questions, mliswilltravel.

White, Herbert S. 1981. “Strategies and Alternatives in Dealing with the Serials Management Budget” (27-42). In Serials collection development: Choices and strategies. Sul H. Lee, editor. The Perian Press: Ann Arbor, MI.

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