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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marian T. Simonson, MSLS (Cleveland Clinic Foundation)
Description: This book is a collection of papers presented at the 2004 University of Oklahoma Libraries Conference on managing digital resources for research libraries. The authors and editor represent various backgrounds including research libraries, publishers from the profit and non-profit sectors, and a research library organization.
Purpose: The authors discuss the trend of transforming collections from print to digital formats and how it affects library services and budgets as well as its roles in the publishing marketplace and academic environment. The editor has compiled a worthy group of papers that address a timely subject.
Audience: Although focused on academic research libraries, the book is applicable to all types of libraries. Librarians in collection development, access management, and administration would benefit from reading it. The editor and the chapter authors are all experts in their varying fields and bring their own perspectives to the topic.
Features: Each chapter focuses on a specific aspect of shifting collections from a print to digital environment. The library's role as the central repository of information in the university is shifting as well, and various authors suggest ways to keep the library in the mainstream of university activities. Open access publishing, and its effect on the library, scholarly communication, and STM publishers, is also discussed in several chapters. Access management has become the buzzword for the new phase of collection development in which paradoxically cooperation, competition, and resource-sharing initiatives play central roles. Funding, or more appropriately, the competition for scarce funds, is a recurring theme with examples of how libraries are allocating their budgets.
Assessment: Since this is a compilation of papers presented at a conference, some chapters don't have references, but that is not a shortcoming. The information is timely; the chapters are well written by experts in their fields, and the editor should be commended for compiling a worthy publication. I recommend reading this work to get a snapshot of collection issues facing libraries in 2005.