Re: The Future of Serials Librarians

From: Fytton Rowland <>
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2002 11:43:44 +0100

As Stevan Harnad repeatedly points out
all of this is applicable to only one smallish sector of publishing
(scholarly). All the rest of publishing is quite rightly commercial and
will continue to be so. I don't think we need fear for our friends'
jobs. I teach publishing, and confidently expect that my graduating
students will continue to find work!

Fytton Rowland, Loughborough University, UK.

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Goodman" <dgoodman_at_phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2002 1:32 AM
Subject: The Future of Serials Librarians

> On Mon, 7 Oct 2002, Albert Henderson wrote:
> > Libraries and librarians support "incoming articles." If
> > spending switches to "outgoing articles," libraries
> > will be out of business and serials librarians will
> > be out on the street.
> >
> > Albert Henderson Former Editor, PUBLISHING RESEARCH QUARTERLY 1994-2000
> Frankly, Al, I cannot imagine that a scholarly publication system will
> ever be simple enough to navigate successfully so that the assistance of
> specialists will not be needed.
> They'll be needed at two places: First, in the design, operation, set-up,
> and continuing meta-data control (this is what has traditionally been
> known as technical services).
> Second, in the instruction and assistance to users, both by preparing
> online help information and more formal guides, and by direct individual
> assistance, in person and remotely (this is what has been traditionally
> been known as public services).
> Whatever their jobs may be called, and whatever the places where they
> work may be called, their functions will be needed. They will be needed
> especially in the period of transition--I think one of the limiting
> factors here is that there aren't enough knowledgeable and imaginative
> people to work on the transition. They will still be needed
> afterwards--the design of a complex yet obvious system in any domain does

> not seem to be within human capabilities.
> I am not as sure about the need for much of conventional publishing. The
> entire administrative side--the skilled sales, publicity, billing, and
> related staff functions may not exist as such. Although I have many
> friends in such positions, I am not worried about their employment
> prospects--they are eminently qualified to become librarians,
> and we will need many more.
> Dr. David Goodman
> Princeton University Library
Received on Tue Oct 08 2002 - 11:43:44 BST

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