Access and ownership in libraries
Until recently the ideal model of a research library included having collections that were as comprehensive as possible, and volume count was considered one of the most significant measures of a library’s worth. But the information explosion, soaring journal prices, declining budgets, and shrinking space to house collections have shifted the focus from on-site ownership to providing users with materials they need by a variety of different means. One way the Library ensures access to resources we do not own is through its Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service, which will borrow material from other libraries, and which can usually supply journal articles you request within 24 to 48 hours. Access to RSS feeds, Table of Contents (TOC) services, and research alerts allow you to set up accounts that alert you to new articles published in journals we do not subscribe to, so you can regularly identify current articles of interest and request them through Interlibrary Loan. We also provide digital access to hundreds of journal titles and ebooks that we do not own in print format, through packages that provide access to a greater number of titles than we would afford by individual purchase, and at lower overall cost. The Library is also a paying member of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), an international consortium of libraries that acquires newspapers, journals, documents, archives and other traditional and digital resources and makes them available via interlibrary loan and electronic delivery. Through our CRL membership faculty and students have access to materials the Library would otherwise find difficult or impossible to collect on its own.