Yesterday I received the latest edition of the September/October edition of the American Association of Law Librarian (AALL) Spectrum in all of it's radiant glory. The AALL Spectrum is the trade periodical for law Librarians the world over. Generally it is a magazine written by Librarians for Librarians.
The one piece that really got my attention was the article Is it Cheaper Online: tracking a library e-conversion by LaJean Humphries. See, years ago (back when online materials were just getting started), the publishers came to universities and government law libraries and said that if they converted to online, the cost of print resources would go down. That never happened and, in fact, the cost of print resources have risen with the cost of online stuff making this article that much more interesting what with the increased demand for online resources such as e-books. Ms. Humphries details her conversion efforts from print to online. While I personally prefer print over online resources, Ms. Humphires notes that:
electronic books share the ability to hyperlink, allowing users to instantly pull up linked cases, statutes, etc., where in the past the user would have gotten up, gone to the library bookshelf, found the case reporter or statute volume, looked up the case or statute, and read it. This added time efficiency at least partially compensates for the increased costs.
So, while the actual cost of online resources may be more than the print, apparently, the ease of access helps to off-set the increased budget demands. Huh, something to think about.
Other helpful articles of note include:
So, if you happen to have a few minutes, why not take a look-see at the new and improved AALL Spectrum. Who knows, maybe between the online gaming and surfing the Internet, you might find time to increase the grey matter between your ears.