Tag Archives: collection development

More on the New York Times subscription plan

In addition to the alternate ways of accessing formerly free NY Times content pointed out by Carrie Macfarlane in a previous blog post, I’d like to provide a bit of additional information about this popular resource.

Currently, the NYTimes does not have a group plan in place that covers institutions such as libraries.  This was mentioned in a brief comment at the end of an article on Mar. 23, 2011 in the Talk To The Times section discussing the new digital subscription.  Apparently, such plans are in the works, however, and LIS will continue to monitor developments in this area.  Hopefully, at some point, we will be able to subscribe to the Times online as an institution.

Until then, please do be aware that Middlebury College community members who wish to purchase individual subscriptions may be eligible for a discount.  Please see this page for details and this page to sign up.  You must be registered with the Times with a valid middlebury.edu email address in order to qualify, so you’ll need to change your default email address to your Midd address if it isn’t already set up that way.

When the NYTimes announces their institutional subscription plan, LIS will investigate pricing and make a decision about subscribing.  Much depends on pricing, of course — our budget for library resources has remained flat or even decreased over the last 5 years, even as journal prices continue to increase and the number of quality online resources has exploded.  If we do subscribe, we will be sure to shout it from the proverbial rooftops, so stay tuned.



Terry Simpkins (tsimpkin)
Director of Research and Collection Services/Interim Collection Development Librarian


Annual Special Collections Open House, August 31-September 2, 2010


On view in Special Collections, Davis Family Library, Lower Level

Faculty and Staff are welcome fo review our most recent acquisition of primary source materials incuding rare books and first editions, historic periodicals, manuscript collections, journals, diaries, antique maps, ephemera, etc.

Everything from the Illustrated London News to American travel letters to Victorian hair jewelry to NY Poet Frank O’Hara.

Special Collections materials are selected for their relevance to courses taught across the curriculum as well as for faculty research.

  • Suggestions for future acquisitions are welcome.
  • Tours of the closed stacks available upon request.

Please stop in anytime  9:00 AM-5:00 PM,  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, August 31-September 2, 2010

We look forward to seeing you.

Media Curator

Steve Bertolino has recently assumed the role of media curator for video collections housed in Davis Family Library, basically becoming responsible for the “care and feeding” of both the restricted and browsing video collections. In this cross-departmental role, Steve will work with faculty and LIS staff to:

  • ensure timely replacements of missing/damaged items
  • ensure we have viable copies of materials needed for screenings and reserve
  • periodically generate and review reports relating to use, condition, etc., of the collections
  • work with faculty and LIS staff to review and revise policies pertaining to the collection
  • monitor space needs or issues within the collection
  • keep an “ear to the ground” regarding new and emerging technologies relating to video streaming or alternate delivery systems
  • reconvene, and serve on, the LIS committee responsible for adding (and withdrawing) materials for the video browsing collection.

Please contact Steve with any questions about the use of the library’s video collections.  Please contact the appropriate liaison or submit a suggestion if you would like to request a purchase.

LIS Collection Management has a new name!

With the merger of Collection Management and portions of Academic Consulting Services, it became clear that the area needed a new name to reflect its expanded scope.

I’m therefore pleased to announce that the name for this area is now Research and Collection Services (RCS). While many portions of the website still reflect the old names — and it will take a while before we’ve eradicated all remnants of Collection Management/Academic Consulting Services from the website, email distribution lists, HR/Banner information, etc. — please consider the name to be effective immediately.  We’ll try to get the changes made expeditiously.

As a reminder, RCS includes:

  • Reference and Instruction Librarians
  • Special Collections
  • Vt. Collection
  • Government Documents
  • Inter-library Loan
  • Cataloging/Acquisitions/Serials
  • Preservation & Processing
  • Collection Development

Access to e-content: permanent or not?

We have online access to a large number of journals and newspapers.  The terms governing our access vary considerably, and can change with the passage of time.  One of the most important aspects of our access is the extent to which it is dependable and permanent.  Following is an attempt to illustrate the range of stability of our electronic offerings.

The most stable and permanent situation is when we have a subscription with the publisher to a specific journal or packaged group of journals (e.g. Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis).  In this case we have guaranteed permanent access to all material published during the years of our subscription.  Often we will also have access to a backfile of material published before our subscription started.  In some cases we are assured continuing access to this backfile, while in other cases ongoing access to any material dating from before the start of our subscription is not guaranteed.

We have deals with some of our larger commercial publishers (e.g. Elsevier Science Direct, Sage Premier, Springer SpringerLink), generally with contract periods of two to four years, under which we maintain electronic subscriptions to the journals we used to subscribe to in print, and we are allowed access to a large group of additional journals for a very low package price. We have the same guaranteed permanent access for our subscribed titles as for any other subscriptions.  We do not, however, acquire permanent access rights to titles in the low-cost “bonus” package; we have access to these titles only for the duration of the package deal.  These deals are commonly renewed for subsequent terms, so we will usually retain access to the bonus titles for an extended period.  However, sometimes the roster of journals in the package will change somewhat upon renewal of the deal, so we will gain access to new titles, but we may lose access to some titles we formerly had.  Occasionally a title in the bonus package will vanish in the middle of the term, but we have no recourse since there are no guarantees of access for the individual non-subscribed titles.

Our access to many journals and newspapers is not directly with the publishers, but rather through subscriptions to aggregated full-text databases (e.g. Academic OneFile, Ethnic NewsWatch, Lexis-Nexis Academic).  The vendors of the aggregations license content from the publishers, and these arrangements sometimes change; new titles are added from time to time, but others are deleted.  So, we may find that a title or titles we have counted on, or that portions of the content of a title, have suddenly vanished.  Since we have no direct relationship with the publishers of the original material, we acquire no ownership rights, and if something is pulled from the database, we are simply out of luck.  And in the most drastic situation, if we cancel our subscription to one of these databases, no matter how long we have subscribed our access to everything ends immediately,  One exception to the impermanence of aggregated content is archival databases (e.g. British Periodicals Collection, JSTOR, ProQuest Historical Newspapers), for which we have purchased perpetual access to material covering a certain period of time.

In addition to the resources we pay for, we facilitate access to many free and open-access publications, as a service to our users.  Obviously, since the providers are furnishing this material to all at no cost, there are no guarantees of availability or permanence.  We have no standing with the providers, so we are not in a position to request that problems be resolved.