Responding to the credit crunch: What now for librarians and libraries?

March 26, 2010 at 11:47 am | Posted in Libraries | Leave a comment

ALPSP has released the results of its survey of librarians entitled ‘Responding to the credit crunch: What now for librarians and libraries?‘. The survey attracted 173 respondents from 14 countries (58% of respondents were from the US, 17% from the UK).

Key points are:

There is a strong desire among librarians to move away from print-on-paper journals. 90% of librarians responding either strongly agreed or agreed that they would like to move more journal titles to electronic only with only 2% disagreeing.

The main reasons for librarians wishing to move to electronic-only access provision for journals are the low usage of the print version of journal, to take advantage of any saving on subscription price and to save shelving space.

The main reason cited by librarians for not moving more journals to electronic only is that it is not offered by the publisher, with concerns over perpetual access (post cancellation access) a close second.

‘Big Deals’
There are strong pro- and anti-‘Big Deal’ groups of librarians, but the evidence is that the proportion of journals purchased as part of a Big Deal will increase in 2010, with a corresponding decrease in the number of journals purchased as single subscriptions. (Big Deals are > 90% purchased through consortia.) Confusingly, however, there are also signs of higher rates of cancellation or downgrading of deals by existing Big-Deal subscribers.

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