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  • Electronic Reserve: A Manual and Guide for Library Staff Members
  • Jessica Poland
Electronic Reserve: A Manual and Guide for Library Staff Members. By Lori Driscoll. Binghamton, N.Y.: Haworth Information Press, 2003. xiii, 103 pp. $39.95 (cloth), $24.95 (paper). ISBN 0-7890-1525-0; 0-7890-1526-9.

The benefits of instituting an electronic reserve program in an academic library are obvious. When reserve materials are digitized and put on a Web server, they are accessible to multiple users both on campus and off. Electronic reserves are not susceptible to damage or theft, nor do they take up shelf space. Designing and providing such a program allows for better visibility on the part of the library and improved service for the user. However, such operations can be costly to maintain, difficult to staff, and aggravating to apply copyright guidelines.

This "manual and guide" offers a practical look at implementing and managing electronic reserve. Lori Driscoll is the chair of access services at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and manages her institution's course reserve system. Her place in the trenches is evident, for the book thoroughly examines policies, procedures, and training documentation for the initial setup as well as the ongoing coordination of an e-reserve service. Don't mistake thorough for long, however, because at 103 pages this guide is nothing if not straightforward. [End Page 202]

The book, copublished as an issue of Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Information Supply (14, no. 1 [2003]), is split into two parts: "The How-to-Do-It Manual of Electronic Reserve" and "Copyright Issues in Electronic Reserve." Driscoll's assertion that reserve staff often "take on the new service without additional support" (7) indicates the importance of strategic planning to ensure the implementation of a well-run service. In chapter 2, "Getting Started," such planning is concisely discussed, and questions that might aid an organization in shaping its program are listed. Staff considerations and technological issues are mentioned, and competencies to look for in potential workers as well as reserve systems and software are outlined. Training, publicity, and assessment resources for electronic reserve are also cited.

Chapter 3, "Ongoing Processes," deals with workflow issues that might arise after the service is established. Again, practical questions intended for pondering by a prospective program are raised, including "What file format should be used?" (28) and "Who will be responsible for procuring copyright permission?" (29). An overview of general procedure is included, as is a section on permissions and fees associated with copyrighted material. This takes us into the second part of the book, which deals totally with copyright.

Driscoll recognizes that although technology for e-reserve has been around for over a decade, "libraries continue to grapple with copyright issues surrounding the service" (3). By providing a brief overview of copyright law and discussing Fair Use and the ALA Model Policy as well as other guidelines, she attempts to demystify the sometimes very murky notion of copyright in a reserves domain. The section is easy to read and well supplemented by the book's appendix, which includes sample policies, workflow charts, and checklists.

Also contained in the appendix are permission letters, scanning instructions using Acrobat, student guides, and satisfaction surveys. The "References and Resources" list contains about fifty items, but it might be easier to peruse if it were indexed by topic. Contact information is listed for licensing agents and listservs pertaining to e-reserve, copyright, and digital licensing. A small glossary and index complete the short but hardy publication.

Although any chapter of the work could probably be expanded into its own monograph, Driscoll does a fine job of keeping things simple. While not overlooking topics, she lays the framework for an institution to create its own program to best serve its needs. The result is a useful publication for any library seeking to establish an electronic reserve service.

Jessica Poland
Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania


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pp. 202-203
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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