Is the End User Now the Head of Collection Development? Distributed Computing Issues for Academic Libraries


In this era of distributed computing and access versus ownership, the user's role in choosing the cost and content of information purchased has increased dramatically. When collections were solely in buildings and selection was done by teams of subject librarians and faculty experts, library users made choices from this pre-selected and -arranged set of information. While faculty/librarian teams still have a role in selection, the end users sitting in dorm rooms in front of fully networked workstations have an immense universe of informaion to choose from that is often not filtered for them at all. The institution still pays, in most instances more and more, for access to that information, but the end users are deciding what specific information they are getting for that money. This paper looks at ways to ensure that money is spent on quality information that helps patrons reach the institution's educational goals.

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