Serials Symposium, take two

Staffing for E-Journals

Jeanne Harrell, Director of Acquisitions at Texas A&M University

Judith Hiott, Director of Electronic Resources at Houston Public Library

This panel was interesting as both women have had different experiences with e-journals. Jeanne, who works at Texas A&M, walked the audience through the many structural changes the Acquisitions staff has had to undergo in the last 2 years to cope with the changing needs surrounding e-journals. Many of the staff moved from monographs or print serials to electronic resources. In two years, the electronic serials staff went from 1 to 5. They also have many highly trained paraprofessionals taking on more responsibilities. Jeanne stated that libraries are going to have to start adequately rewarding our paraprofessional staff for the highly trained work that we expect of them.

Judith Hiott, from HPL, discussed the movement HPL had undergone from print to electronic journals. Though they retained many of their print subscriptions, they have made the move to electronic format whenever possible. The largest challenge HPL has faced is negotiating contracts with vendors. The existing contracts for other organizations the size of HPL are all academic libraries who have a much higher usage rate. Judith has had to start from scratch when negotiating fair prices for her libraries. (This is a good example of one library using its power to change the way that some of the vendors do business.)

–Jane, negotiating the e-journal world