Re: Recent Comments by Albert Henderson

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 13:12:36 -0500

Al may have missed a key point:

The faculty (and even more the students) do not want to go the the
library to get their material. They want it on the computer in their
office. (I have worked physically in a library for 20 yrs, so for _me_
it's easiest to get things in the library; if I worked elsewhere on
especially on a large campus like Davis, I would be much less inclined
to prefer that approach.)

But Al in the end of his reply has correctly picked up another equally
important point:

The faculty (and even more the students) do not effectively use the
facilities we do provide. There are indeed ways at almost all academic
libraries for the faculty (and the students) to request items the
library does not own directly from the offices or residences. There are
ways at most for faculty at most research universities to request copies
of items the library does own delivered to their offices.

If one of our faculty had a similar problem, I would hope that they
requested the items from me, preferably using the web system we
programmed for the purpose, but alternatively by any communication means
they liked: email, fax, sending a student, sending a secretary, calling
on the phone.

Among the ways of getting the document Greg did not consider, was asking
a librarian at Davis for help! We know how to help users get any of the
millions of items the university owns, the more or less similar number
of items the university should own but does not provide money for, and
the much larger number of items it is unrealistic to expect any one
university to have.
And although faculty (and students) do have considerable skill at
looking for items on the internet, they are not as skilled as they could
be, or as any reference librarian is expected to be.

This said, Al, if you want your ideas to have the impact you desire,
Greg is correct that you should post your writings on the internet and
supply links. Your purpose in writing articles is to communicate and
bring about change; and this is now the best way of doing it, certainly
on this subject.

David G.

Albert Henderson wrote:
> on Wed, 24 Jan 2001 Greg Kuperberg <greg_at_MATH.UCDAVIS.EDU> filed the
> following compaint about the facilities at the University of California:
> > On Tue, Jan 23, 2001 at 09:42:13PM -0500, Albert Henderson wrote:
> > > Thank you for asking. You will find them in ELECTRONIC
> > > DATABASES AND PUBLISHING (Transaction 1997 ISBN 1-56000-967-5)
> > > which I compiled from articles that I edited in PUBLISHING
> > > RESEARCH QUARTERLY. The most interesting summary statistics>
> > > are to be found in the article by Richard Kaser of NFAIS.
> >
> > Entirely apart from whether or not I agree with you, it's not convenient
> > for me to read any of your articles in the form that you publish them.
> > Some UC campuses have PRQ, but UC Davis cancelled its subscription in
> > 1994. It does subscribe to Society magazine, but I haven't been to the
> > library in months because the Internet is more convenient. It's hardly
> > worth it for me to to bicycle to the library, walk through the aisles,
> > and then bicycle back, which takes about a half hour, just for a single
> > article that I might skim for 15 minutes. The UC card catalog mentions an
> > on-line version of Society, but only Riverside subscribes, and the URL
> > seems to be broken anyway. I found another on-line avenue to Society
> > with some non-trivial detective work, but it doesn't have your article
> > yet and gaining access is complicated. Your book, *Electronic databases
> > and publishing*, is also in the UC card catalog, but it isn't at the
> > Davis campus either.
> >
> > In my opinion, the inadvertent self-censorship of the conservatives is
> > as convincing as any direct argument that information wants to be free.
> > Stevan and I may disagree strongly on how to best "liberate" the scholarly
> > literature. But in keeping with our common ground, everything that we
> > have written lately is freely available on the Internet. More people
> > would read you if you followed our example.

> In the meantime, you might be interested to read
> my guest editorial in SCIENCE (289:243 2000). The
> online version features tables on the profits of
> private universities and the reveral of fortunes
> in profits and library spending of higher education
> over recent decades. If you are really interested
> in the statistics of my book, you can probably order
> a copy through interlibrary loan without mounting
> your bicycle.
> Best wishes,
> Albert Henderson
> <>

Dr. David Goodman
Biology Librarian
and Co-chair, Electronic Journals Task force
Princeton University Library
Princeton, NJ 08544-0001
phone: 609-258-3235
fax: 609-258-2627
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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