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From The CriticsReviewer: Bruce A. Johnston, MLS (Duquesne University)
Description: This book, copublished simultaneously as Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery, and Electronic Reserve (Volume 15, Number 2, 2004), provides a detailed description of the evolution of academic course reserves from their inception in the 1870s through the present exponential growth of electronic reserves. Intermingled among the various developmental aspects of academic course reserves is an analysis of the impact of both technology and legislation.
Purpose: In addition to a well-researched and documented historical presentation of academic course reserves, the author provides an extensive analysis of the complex and often ambiguous relationship between reserves and copyright. This book fulfills its purpose and further encourages discussion of future trends in course reserves.
Audience: This work is directed primarily at academic libraries and staff involved in the course reserve function — both traditional paper reserves as well as electronic. Individuals interested in copyright issues and implications will also find this book relevant. The author has published frequently in the library and information science literature in the areas of information retrieval, remote storage, and electronic reserves.
Features: The initial chapters describe the evolution of academic course reserves. Early chapters address the rationale for "setting aside" originals, the impact of the photocopier, and the ramifications of copyright legislation. An interesting analysis of early attempts to develop electronic reserve mechanisms is followed by a section outlining recent developments in the rapid expansion of electronic reserves. The final section presents three possible future scenarios for academic reserves. Without academic libraries spearheading proactive positions in forcefully addressing copyright issues with publishers, maximizing Fair Use provisions, and partnering with other campus entities, course reserves could disappear and be replaced by faculty-developed courseware systems.
Assessment: This book presents an informative historical description of academic course reserves as well useful discussions of the evolution of electronic reserves. Analysis of the complex and evolving relationship between reserve and copyright prompts further discussion and interpretation. This well-researched and documented book fills a niche in one important function of any academic library, and provides useful strategies for advancing academic course reserves in the rapidly changing environment of higher education.