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Friday, June 17 • 10:30am - 11:20am
Which Should We Buy? Reconsidering Best Practices in the Purchase of Print versus Electronic Resources in Theological Libraries

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In the July, 2013, issue of Theological Librarianship, Timothy D. Lincoln argued, based on a survey of library patrons at ATLA-affiliated libraries, that “theological library directors should seriously consider spending a significant proportion of their collection budget on electronic resources” (“Reading and E-Reading for Academic Work,” TL 6.2 [2013]: 45). In the years since, much has changed in the world of electronic resources in theology and religious studies. More content is available, formats have become more standardized, patrons have become more accustomed to reading online, and distance education programs have expanded. At the same time, there are signs that print is making a comeback in academic libraries, the younger generation of library patrons may not be as fervent for electronic formats as librarians previously thought, and publishers have been resistant to deliver electronic-only content. In this presentation, I survey the current landscape of electronic resources in theology and religious studies and examine the factors collection developers face when choosing between print and electronic. I use this background to form an argument for a more cautious approach to the curation of electronic resources in theological libraries, and I enumerate the considerations that selectors must weigh in making purchasing decisions.

Friday June 17, 2016 10:30am - 11:20am
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