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UKSG Student Roadshow: The Serials Librarian


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Prepared for the UKSG Student Roadshow at University College London in 2009. The roadshow was aimed at librarianship and information science students and featured a librarian, a subscription agent, a publisher, and the British Library.

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UKSG Student Roadshow: The Serials Librarian

  1. 1. The serials librarian Louise Cole Senior Information Advisor Kingston University
  2. 2. Summary The role of serials in the library Print journals E-journals Collection management Selection and deselection Acquisition and administration Budgeting and finance
  3. 3. The role of serials in the library Serials = journals = periodicals = magazines = newspapers = CD-ROMs … Continuing resources purchased on subscription to provide key or background reading to support teaching and/or research … and increasingly means databases too Provide a benchmark of quality – peer reviewed and high impact content Essential collection for a university library
  4. 4. Print journals Average number of print subscriptions for a university library is between 2,500 and 7,500, depending on size Print journals declining in importance in STM (science, technology, medicine) and e-journals gaining ground 130,000 journal titles available for purchase from major subscription agent Need to be checked in, processed, and sent to binders
  5. 5. E-journals Often purchased as part of ‘big deals’ JISC / NESLi2 (National Electronic Site Licensing Initiative) Convenience; any time / any place More complex than print journal management as licensing, activation, authentication etc required Usually need special systems to organize (ERMs) Gaining in value as expectations of students rise
  6. 6. Collection development and management:selection and deselection Process of selection usually in the hands of subject librarians and the departments they represent Annual renewal and cancellation cycle (between May and October) Increasing trends in research libraries to archive/store back issues; in non-research libraries to discard material for space issues Collection teams usually co-ordinate purchase, renewal, or cancellation
  7. 7. Collection development and management:acquisition and administration Acquisition of journals is generally through a subscription agent – gain discount and ease of service (claims, customer service, etc) Checking in print journals, processing, and shelving done by team assistants, with regular claim cycles For e-journals activating and chasing done on regular basis Open access e-journals also made available where appropriate
  8. 8. A typical day (at KU) Print Electronic Open post Work from list Check in journal on Check journal is LMS (Talis) available Stick on labels and Identify provider date stamp them Identify form of Add security tags authentication Take to shelf Check it works on and Make new box if off-campus needed Track in ERM system
  9. 9. Budgeting and finance Library budgets for collection development generally run between 2 million and 8 million pounds Average cost of a print journal is £600, many are much more Average cost of an e-journal package = £14,000 Budgets usually split between departments depending on number of students, then split again by type of resource (books, standing orders, journals, e-books)
  10. 10. Budgeting and finance For e-journals, multi-year deals sought to protect budget commitments ‘Essential’ journals and those where cancellation is restricted Top-slicing for multidisciplinary resources – often 10% or more of total budget Collection development management plans look toward future plans for expansion Many university libraries facing budget cuts
  11. 11. Conclusion Serials are an essential part of any library collection Print journals declining in many areas, replaced by complex e-deals Budgets not always keeping pace with demand, especially when items cannot be cancelled Selection usually joint effort between subject teams, departments, and collections staff
  12. 12. Contact info Email