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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Interlending & Document Supply, Volume 36, Issue 4
“The devil is in the detail” is an apt saying to describe the problems faced by managers everywhere and librarians are no exception. A global perspective on document supply issues shows levels of complexity that are not necessarily obvious at a local level. The most important is the difficulty of identifying global trends in document supply. Demand has been declining dramatically in the UK and France – both of whom have highly efficient document supply centres – for some six years. Is there a correlation here? It is difficult to see – indeed one could assume quite the reverse. In contrast the US has seen continued growth albeit more modest than in the past and indeed a plateau appeared to have occurred in 2007 but modest growth seems to have re-emerged. Denmark is experiencing high growth in lending with the success of their service that makes all books in Denmark accessible to all citizens free of charge. A simple factor could be pricing. Document supply is almost invariably a charged service in the UK but is more often than not free in the USA. In Denmark access to the lending service is free but a pilot service in the UK will be priced. It would be good to see an international study on the various national trends and their causes. Any takers?
The 10th ILDS conference in Singapore was an antidote for all those who might be feeling gloomy about the prospects for document supply – and not simply because your editor was a keynote speaker! The 11th conference takes place in Germany on October 20-22, 2009. An article in this issue describes the new GOPORTIS service in Germany, the participants in which are hosting the conference. It promises to be just as lively and useful as Singapore – definitely a date for your diary – see you in 2009 in Hanover!
An innovative way in which to save costs and improve access to older journal parts has been successfully implemented in the UK and the project is described in this issue. Electronic systems are providing more and better usage data and these have been utilised in order to improve the document supply service at a US university. These are just some of the issues covered in another full issue of ILDS.
And finally comments and letters are always welcome by the editor.