66 · Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
Lack of specific language expertise by bibliographer or technical services staff. Measures taken include hiring students
with language knowledge and outsourcing cataloging. Difficulty in tracking orders from foreign countries, especially
Asia, South Asia, and Middle East. Bibliographers have made direct contacts to identify problems.
Language abilities lacking. Insufficient time for librarians to attend to this area as opposed to others that have more
immediate obvious benefits to users. So we rely heavily on CRL, the LC programs, and hope/trust other libraries will
collect what is needed.
Language expertise, subject expertise, vendor/publisher product notifications, budget considerations, approval plans for
global resources.
Licensing for e-resources collecting popular materials (go out of print quickly).
Low budget. Lack of adequate foreign languages expertise in processing: ordering, receiving, invoice processing.
Overlapping materials from approval vendors.
Maintaining extensive, quality print collections in an e-resource-preferred environment. We watch developments at
home and abroad and respond in kind according to our clientele’s needs. The limits to physical storage both in house
and off site. We are engaged in extensive de-duping projects for all materials (not just area studies).
Nearly everyone mentioned exchange rates, shipping costs, and length of time in receiving material. In some cases,
switching vendors has helped. Due to state requirements for purchasing, we have difficulty getting licenses for global
resources approved and signed in a timely manner—even for American vendors. This is yet to be overcome.
Need additional library staff to process (acquisitions and cataloging) materials—we have made use of students to
assist as much as possible. Expansion of programs with flat collection budgets. For Latin American Studies, book buying
trips have been a cost-effective tool for purchasing needed materials vs. acquiring books and journals through more
established brokers.
On-going efforts to refine approval plans. It can take a long time to receive material once ordered. We deal with that
challenge by using ILL when necessary.
Our challenges are primarily staffing challenges and challenges related to moving collection into current technologies
without losing the important resources of the past. Similarly, in the current economic environment a key challenge for
all global resources librarians working through approval plans is staying special and participating in consortia without
putting smaller, in-country vendors out of business. The resources that make us stand out tend to so do because they
are rare and hard to find. If we purchase only rare and hard to find materials—cutting the more easily accessible
items—that other institutions tend to buy also, we cut our vendors’ bread and butter, making it more difficult for them
to collect the rare and hard to find.
Recruiting staff. Payment workflow for customized acquisitions for independent vendors. Language obstacles for
processing staff unfamiliar with languages. We continue to try to overcome some of these challenges and in the
meantime rely on our existing staff and workarounds.
Setting up approval plans was a challenge, but by working with vendors we put in place plans that meet most of our
Shipping costs—shipping from China can hit as high as 30% of each item purchased. Short print runs—foreign
materials go out-of-print rapidly. Foreign vendors often promise they can deliver, then cannot.
The main challenge would be lack of sufficient funds. Another would be the time needed to do the collection work. In
both cases we do what we can with what is available.
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