e-serials collection management

Thinking about acquiring your own copy of the book “E-serials Collection Management: Transitions, Trends, and Technicalities”? Don’t bother.

I just finished reading E-serials Collection Management: Transitions, Trends, and Technicalities edited by David C. Fowler. It sounded like a great piece of professional literature that would help me with my job, and probably it would have, had it been published in 2002 instead of 2004. Most of the essays were from the 2001-2002 era of electronic journal management, and with the way the technology and access methods have changed in recent years, most of the essays had become irrelevant before they were even published in this book.

I was particularly bemused by one essay that spent some time discussing the disadvantage of IP access over password access because of off-campus users. The author explained that proxy servers were cumbersome because they required the off-campus user to re-configure their browser settings. Yeah, sure, if you’re not running something like EZproxy, which has been around since 1999.

I feel cheated by the time I spent reading/skimming through this book, and I am sorry that my institution spent time and money in acquiring it for our collection. There is very little in this book that is still useful, and I expect even that will fade away in a few short years. If you feel you must purchase this book, at least do yourself a favor and get a paperback copy.