Librarians and the Ginsparg model

From: Paul M. Gherman <Gherman_at_LIBRARY.VANDERBILT.EDU>
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 13:49:26 -0600

> 2. In the general evolution of electronic communication, there will
> be considerable pain for publishers and librarians.
  Why for librarians? Can they not do something better with their money
  than what is now being spent in the "serials crisis"?

I think with increased electronic information whether free
or commercial, the eventual costly infrastructure of
libraries as we know them today will decrease as will the
current number of staff working in libraries. And the library
as institution as we know it today will change. We may
become more like a publisher, note HighWire Press or
Project Muse, we may become more like AskJeeves, or
an interactive web presence there to support scholarship
with a far better rate of correct answers than the current
web answering services. ( There is a great deal of interest
and action on the part of libraries to create a mega
scholarly website.) But Andrew is correct that there will
be pain for those librarians who cling to old ways of
delivering information, just as there has been pain for
other organizations and those who work in them that
cannot change rapidly in a changing environment.
Actually I think the track record for change in libraries is
quite good. A bit quicker than publishers have been
willing to change.

The initial OpenArchive meeting was funded in part by
library organizations, and there we more than a few
librarians in attendance. Some of us will be hurt by the
migration to a fully electronic publishing world, and others
of us will be delighted by the change and excitement.

  And Andrew and I can retire to our tents and get back to our research,
  reaping the benefits of the give-away corpus, free at last!


Andrew Odlyzko
AT&T Labs - Research voice: 973-360-8410 fax: 973-360-8178
Paul M. Gherman
University Librarian
611B General Library
419 21st Avenue South
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37240
Office: (615) 322-7120
Fax: (615) 343-8279
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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