May 4, 2012
Shed West Era Photo Wins AALL's Day in the Life Contest (and a call for more empty stacks photos)
The winner in the Best Overall Photo category is "I Wonder What it was Like to 'Shelve a Book.'" Taken by Rita Kaiser, the caption reads "Yumi Blackwell, associate research librarian, evaluates the library's choices to use the shelves now that we access the reporters electronically." Congratulations to all award winners in this year's AALL Day in the Life Photo Contest.
3 Geekster Greg Lambert recently issued a call on AALL lists for empty stacks photos.
I'm thinking of writing on the topic of "never have our shelves been so empty, yet our collections so large" and wanted to build a collage of empty shelving.
Sounds interesting Gregster.
I would need an uber wide-angle lens for my camera to contribute a photo showing over 4,000 linear feet of empty shelving in our little county law library. That's 113,000 pounds of print sent to the recycling center, folks. Law reviews plus West reporters, annotated codes from the more expensive of the two publishers (I think you know which one that is) as well as antiquated West reference works and tools that once provided dependable recurring revenue generating high profits from print for Thomson Reuter's cash cow are history. Legal encyclopedias, digests, and massive form sets that were being priced out of existence anyway at least provided our County with some recycling credit because that's all they were worth in the free-to-a-good-home market.
Some 50% of US law libraries expect that the space allocated to their library will decrease in three years time according to Law Library Benchmarks, 2012-13 Ed. Clearly that means more empty shelving and more print sent to recycling centers. It also means substituting electronic resources for print ones but as law librarians continue to evaluate their collections, my hunch is many will find in their circulation and database usage statiscial analysis that the "infrequently used" resource will be eliminated. Low usage simply does not the justify the expense. Being able to provide resources to answer every research question is being replaced in those few law libraries that still attempt to do that with being able to answer the usual sorts of questions asked.
Watch for the trend to eliminate out-of-plan licensing without adding lightly used out-of-plan resources to in-plan only licenses to escalate. In addition to the Shed West Era in print, private and public sector institutional buyers are well into the Flat Rate Online Legal Search Era; it's not like BLaw is really offering anything new.
Alas, under the next gen current gen search platforms, screen captures of online database menu options won't be submitted for some future AALL Day in the Life photo contest with a "This is all my users need" caption. [JH]
@Cheryl: Do it! The cost of replacing books every 2 or 3 years is usually less than the cost of keeping them up-to-date anyway. We had a couple of large sets (AmJur, Wright & Miller) accidentally get cancelled when we were between librarians here, and when we noticed 18 months later that the pocket parts were out of date, it was cheaper to buy new sets than to bring the old ones up to date! Also, buying new sets from West got us a year of free updates, making it even more cost-effective. So if they notice that it's missing after a year and want you to buy a new copy, you may find it saves money!
Posted by: Tracey | May 7, 2012 12:18:11 PM
If only I had an "empty shelves" photo to submit. But alas, our firm law library is ahead of the curve, as we shed hundreds of books several years ago and I did not take pictures of those empty shelves. I agree that the trend to "eliminate out-of-plan licensing without adding lightly used out-of-plan resources to in-plan only licenses to escalate" is likely to occur. I continue to make plans to downsize our rather small print collection with hopes to bring those titles into our Lexis or Westlaw in-plan contract only to find that the cost to do so seems to significantly exceed what we've been paying for print! Thus no cost savings there! Maybe I should do as our IT Director suggested and just cancel the print without adding it to an in-plan contract and see if they even miss it!! Aside from the immediate updating factor why does online cost more than print? After all the publisher does not have the costly print production factor to deal with!
Posted by: Cheryl | May 4, 2012 6:47:56 AM