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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David Brennan, BA, MLS (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)
Description: This book provides an overview of the increasingly complex world of the development of electronic collections, or more appropriately, electronic resources. The issues presented range from enabling collaborative efforts between the collection development and information technology staff to the potential of the SPARC coalition to reduce skyrocketing costs of scholarly journals.
Purpose: This book "seeks to focus on the variety of approaches and beliefs held by librarians...when it comes to electronic collection management," with an emphasis on academic libraries. With the multitude of vendors, licensing agreements, and general volatility in this emerging market, this type of overview is necessary for collection development librarians to understand the place of electronic resources within the framework of the overall library collection development strategy. The author's objectives are met with this title.
Audience: This book is intended for those in the academic library market. Some of the contributions (particularly those related to distance education and interdisciplinary studies) are of little utility to the nonacademic library or specialized departmental library, but others will be useful to any library professionals wrestling with the management of their electronic resources. The author's experience is sufficient to edit this collection.
Features: The selections clearly illustrate the current state of the electronic resources market, and the conflicts and challenges that they present from both a collection development and financial perspective. Particularly enlightening are those articles that take on an analysis of the economics of publishing scholarly journals electronically. In common with other Haworth releases, this title includes a complete index as well as the usual references at the end of each article.
Assessment: This is a solid introduction or refresher on the issues and challenges faced by collection development librarians as they continue to integrate electronic resources into their repertoire of library services, and will be particularly useful to those in libraries that do not subscribe to the Collection Management journal in which these selections first appeared. It is not a "how-to" book in a technical sense (which could possibly be inferred by the title), but instead presents a variety of management and philosophical approaches to dealing with electronic resource collections.