Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Although there is still no sign of a paperless society, electronic library collections are gaining in importance, and making it essential for librarians in this field to understand the intricacies of acquisitions and collection development in the electronic arena. Collection Development Issues in the Online Environment covers such issues raised from countries in different continents: Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA.
In 11 chapters a variety of topics are covered including the advantages and disadvantages of e‐material, challenges faced by institutions, electronic journal delivery in academic libraries, electronic reference works and library budgets, copyright concerns, the value of electronic serials (or whether they are actually a hindrance), criteria for selection, database analysis, digital archiving and preservation, e‐document delivery, e‐material management and policies, future possibilities, and licensing options. The chapters are grouped in three sections: common issues, special issues and future issues. Although contributions all address issues of interest, I think there is a great need for publications that can take a more holistic view of collection development, e.g. assessing the status quo in the field against the theoretical background of library collection development, the role of the library in the digital age, and utilizing findings from recent research on human information seeking behavior (an aspect very briefly raised in one of the chapters).
Collection Development Issues concludes with a good index. It would be a useful and not too expensive publication (at $19.95) for library staff working in the field of collection development. I am however somewhat concerned by the editor's remark that due to rapid technology changes some facts might be out of date by the time of publication. Although this is certainly an aspect all authors and publishers have to face, it is, to my opinion, worsened by the fact that the sources cited for many of the contributions are rather dated (2000‐2003) with nothing that I noted published in 2005 and 2006.