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portal: Libraries and the Academy 2.3 (2002) 488-490
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Managing Electronic Reserves
Managing Electronic Reserves, ed. Jeff Rosedale. Chicago: American Library Association, 2002. 196p. $42.00 (ISBN 0-8389-0812-8)
Managing Electronic Reserves is a much-needed collection of essays on various aspects of electronic reserves. Jeff Rosedale, editor, is founder of the ACRL Electronic [End Page 488] Reserves Discussion Group and assistant library director at Manhattanville College. He also maintains the Electronic Reserves Clearinghouse website. Mr. Rosedale's observation that "Reserve services can be vexing to all parties connected with them" (p. vi) suggests both the opportunities to better serve the academic community as well as the difficulties that accompany electronic reserves. Library journal articles have discussed various aspects of electronic reserves, but this is the first monograph devoted to e-reserves and its ten experts do, indeed, cover the waterfront. For example, the first chapter by Lorre Smith is an extremely useful overview in question-and-answer form. Ms. Smith covers staffing, equipment, vendor choice, policies and procedures, and copyright issues with many "where to get more information" notes. She also briefly addresses marketing and promotional aspects of electronic reserves. Wayne Perryman's chapter also briefly addresses this subject and includes excellent appendices on Humboldt State University's electronic reserves system, as well as related FAQs, request forms, and guidelines.
A chapter by Bud Hiller on evaluation of an e-reserves system provides a concise and thoughtful way to address whether a system, homegrown or purchased, is working for the institution. He also shares his thoughts on the question of purchase or in-house design. He notes the importance of collaboration among librarians, students, and faculty as a major factor in the evaluation process.
Chapter Four, migrating e-reserves from NOTIS to a new integrated library system, is well written in technical terms, but perhaps too detailed for inclusion in a book such as this. Those who are migrating to or using Endeavor will undoubtedly find this to be useful information, but unless users are familiar with these particular systems, this chapter may have little to offer.
Laura Gassaway's copyright chapter thoroughly and clearly explains myriad electronic reserves copyright issues; she includes a consideration of copyright issues for audio and video formats as well as for printed matter. While this chapter is an excellent explanation of issues, it understandably does not attempt to instruct those looking for concrete "what should I do now?" answers.
Chapter Eight, "Electronic Reserves and the Digital Library," by Pascal Calarco gives some background on digital libraries and shows an interesting connection to electronic reserves. Including examples in the text rather than merely footnoting sources would have enhanced it. Interested readers will need to go digging for more information.
Philip Kesten's contribution," Perspectives of an Enlightened Vendor," while a bit of an advertisement for Docutek, is, nevertheless, a very informative history of e-reserves and the development of a proprietary product. It includes a reasonably balanced and thorough discussion of a homegrown system versus a commercial product. Mr. Kesten, perhaps surprisingly, favors a homegrown system, all other factors being equal (which, of course, they never are!).
Kudos go to Mr. Rosedale for putting this book together; it needed to be written. A chapter devoted to marketing, promotion and education and one devoted to the future of electronic reserves would be welcome additions. For those who are just getting started some thoughts as to the future of e-reserves would have been motivating. On the whole this book will be valuable to both those academically interested in electronic reserves as well as the [End Page 489] folks in the trenches—starting, using and maintaining an electronic reserve system.
University of Massachusetts, Boston