Monday, August 14, 2006

Browsing Nostalgia

Every year we discuss with faculty what print journals to cut. Sometimes we do it because inflation rates have outstripped our budget and sometimes we do it because they have requested new subscriptions. It's always an interesting conversation. Until just this year, we kept track of how often we reshelved the unbound journals. As you might except, we rarely reshelved any of them. With the exception of Science, Nature, or Chemical and Engineering News, the current print issues are rarely used. And yet, when we discuss canceling print, the faculty talk about their need to browse, presumably their need to browse print. So is this browsing nostalgia? Nostalgia for the old days when they found their research ideas by browsing through print issues of the journals in the library? Of course who am I to talk? Just look at my nostalgic print reference collection...

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