Serials Symposium, take three

The Impacts of E-Journals on Services

Dell Davis, Assistant Director at the Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library

Billie Peterson-Lugo, Assistant Director, Resources and Collection Management at Baylor University

Sondee Weiss, Senior Library Service Specialist at the Houston Public Library

According to Dell Davis, E-Resources are changing the way we interact with our public. Reference interactions are down, there are fewer desk hours scheduled, but 40% of the questions at the Texas Medical Center relate to electronic access. Reference staff should be trained in technology, libraries should have wifi, and users should be educated as well. Copyright has become a serious educational issue.

Billie Peterson-Lugo talked about students. Young and old, returning or traditional, they all want instant gratification when it comes to research. E-journals impact all departments, public services and service areas that never interact with a public desk. At Baylor, their gate count is down, but they still have more people per day than their student life center on campus. (I think that is amazing. Keep in mind, as well, that many people access our resources online and we never know about it) Billie talked about Open URL and, like any resource, it is great when it works and a wall when it does not.

Sondee Weiss discussed some of the problems inherent in E-Journals, such as some electronic versions are different than the print. (What came to my mind were different editions of the same paper containing different articles) This can, of course, cause headaches for the user and the librarian.

During the question and answer session, we talked about educating our users more. Information literacy standards and different approaches to educating faculty was a big concern across the board.

–Jane, serials, serials, everywhere