Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Back-channel ILL"

One of the Librarians I follow on Twitter (sorry, I don't remember who), tweeted the following blog post from Jessamyn West's blog Librarian.net:

When Good Librarians Go Bad: Genuine Options in Librarianship

Here's an excerpt from the final paragraph that sums it up pretty well:
...I often came across content that I didn’t have access to. I was also confronted with, in many cases, unreasonable fees requested [$9.95 for 100 words, really?]. Me being me, I could always find a librarian with access to, say the Times Online archive, or old articles in JSTOR. But I also felt it was cheating. But I was also annoyed that being resourceful is also somehow cheating. And I knew that many of my patrons with fewer resources would just pony up. Where do we draw the line between enforcing other people’s rules and solving problems with our patrons? Now that we’re getting more and more networked, this whole idea of local content works for some things [historical photos, town history] and not for others [journal articles that are held in thousands of libraries worldwide]. Do we have a plan for moving forward?
Well, do we? Just a little food for thought...

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Well, this is thought provoking on many levels and it's likely that the practice of back-channel ILL will go unabatted, maybe even accelerate until vendors decide to put the clamp down either technologically or legally.

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