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Bridging the gap between print and electronic resources at a multi‐campus university library

Sharon Premchand‐Mohammed (The Alma Jordan Library, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago)


ISSN: 0305-5728

Article publication date: 16 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to describe the challenges and examine the impact of the transition from print to electronic resources at a medium‐sized academic library at a multi‐campus Caribbean university, The University of the West Indies (UWI), with particular reference to the St Augustine campus.


Through a review of the literature on the shift from print to electronic resources, the paper uses the experiences of The UWI St Augustine to provide a model that can be used by other libraries.


Libraries have successfully built a “hybrid” collection of print and electronic resources despite challenges with information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, balancing costs, licencing model and strategies for selection, acquisition and management of electronic resources. There are some key steps which libraries can follow when transitioning from print to electronic resources.

Research limitations/implications

The paper focuses on the experiences and lessons learnt in moving a collection from print to a hybrid of print and electronic resources. However, this by no means encapsulates all the issues associated with any such undertaking.

Practical implications

The paper provides some key steps that a library can take in transitioning its collection from print to a print‐electronic hybrid.


Although the literature speaks to different aspects of implementing electronic resources, this paper provides a roadmap for similar libraries with the lessons learnt and simple steps that a library should take when considering to move its collection from print to some level of electronic resources.



Premchand‐Mohammed, S. (2011), "Bridging the gap between print and electronic resources at a multi‐campus university library", VINE, Vol. 41 No. 3, pp. 315-333.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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