Tuesday, April 11, 2017

No More Liaisons: Collection Management Strategies in Hard Times

By Debra Donovan

     This article talks about the decrease in subject librarians, or liaisons as they call it, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks due to massive budget cuts. These liaisons were very instrumental in what and how library materials were selected. These liaisons would spend a lot of time making contacts with faculty to see which books would help in their research. The University saw this as costing too much money, so they cut the amount of liaisons and decided to use a more cost-effective patron-driven acquisition (PDA) program.  Through their review they saw that many of the titles that the liaisons chose had low circulation numbers. So with the new PDA program they could give the patrons exactly what they wanted. This resulted in the e-book program that gave patrons access to academic books which would not have necessarily been chosen by the liaisons.
     Two of the drawbacks for the decreased number of liaisons is that one of their jobs was to add new journals thus aiding the research department that uses them as the core of their scientific research. The other drawback is when cancelling journal subscriptions just based on cost without taking into consideration the department faculty and the importance of their use in research, leaves the department with fewer access to the materials they need.

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