Approaching a three‐day turnaround for e‐reserves: learning from Amtrak's mistakes

Gabriel S. Farrell (Columbia University Libraries, New York, New York, USA)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The purpose of this paper is to apply the best practices defined by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) in its assessment of Amtrak to infrastructure improvements in electronic reserves at Columbia University Libraries.


The paper draws on a 2004 GAO report, Intercity Passenger Rail, to set a framework for the handling of infrastructure improvement projects, and then examines a hypothetical electronic reserves project in light of that framework.


This paper concludes that the best practices laid out in the GAO report, which include comprehensive planning, risk assessment, comprehensive financial management, accountability and oversight, and stakeholder involvement, are appropriate guidelines for any infrastructure improvement project. Many projects must address issues outside of infrastructure, however, and may benefit from outcomes‐based goals and policy adjustments.


The paper is of benefit in the planning of library projects that include infrastructure improvements.



Farrell, G. (2006), "Approaching a three‐day turnaround for e‐reserves: learning from Amtrak's mistakes", The Bottom Line, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 59-63.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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