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E-Publishing Impact on Acquisition and Interlibrary Loan

From the Introduction, "E-Publishing: A Rapidly Maturing Industry"
Electronic publishing has had an unprecedented impact on what is available for libraries to acquire and on purchasing practices. Unfortunately, as the number of useful digital products, as well as users' desires, for them to escalate, many libraries also are facing unusually severe financial constraints.

Publicly funded libraries have had drastic funding cuts because of state budget problems. Private academic institutions also have suffered because of reduced return on endowment investments.

Moreover, many in the higher education community believe that declining budgets are not simply the natural consequence of cyclical forces but instead represent a fundamentally changed outlook that will continue for some time.

These analysts argue that cuts in university funding occur because education is no longer regarded as a public good to be supported automatically and unconditionally. If this idea is truly the case, academic libraries at state institutions will be able to afford only a fraction of the growing array of electronic resources being brought to market.

Even richly endowed libraries may be challenged, [because] costs show no sign of significant decline and attractive products continue to appear in rapid succession.

Chapter 1, "Rich Offerings: E-Publishing Growth Areas," describes the current growth areas in e-publishing and the increasingly rich offerings available to libraries. The focus throughout this report is on nonserial products, with reference to serials only in so far as they affect overall budgets and financial management strategies.

Chapter 2, "Raised Expectations/Rising Prices," briefly discusses rising costs and the raised expectations of users.

Chapter 3, "Reduced Resource: Coping Strategies," describes strategies libraries are using to balance increasing demands and available resources.

Chapter 4, "Nuts and Bolts: Processing Impacts," details the impact of e-publishing on day-to-day acquisition processes.

Chapter 5, "Alternative Acquisition Routes," describes methods for adding to collections besides purchasing. It discusses the impact electronic publishing has had, in particular, on interlibrary loan--the traditional substitute for ownership.

Chapter 6, "Afterward: Life on the Fast Track," describes how e-publishing is changing libraries.

About the Author
Paula D. Watson has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois a Urbana-Champaign Library since 1972. Since 1995, she has been director of electronic information services at the UIUC Library, responsible for selecting and evaluating electronic resources, licensing, and negotiation.

Professor Watson's previous work includes publications on reference and documents administration and CD-ROM applications. She also is interested in the contributions of women to the development of U.S. public libraries and she has published articles on the subject in The Library Quarterly and Libraries and Culture.

Watson's library background is in public services. She started her career as a general reference librarian and has worked in government documents as a branch librarian, a department head, and a senior-level administrator.

She received an MSLS from Syracuse University School of Information Studies and also holds an M.A. in English literature from Columbia University and an A.B. from Barnard College.