Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Morning Program--Role of Print in Digital Environment

Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka is speaking about the continuing relevance of print.

Some reasons for keeping print in a mostly-digital environment include:
  • Fixing scanning errors
  • Evolution of standards, development of new features
  • Securing printed artifact
  • "Unknown unknowns" about what future holds
Open question: Does this, collectively, justify cost of maintaining print? How do we we know that this is worth the effort?

Roger Schonfeld rolls up his sleeves in preparation for taking on collection preservation. Photo by Dana Peterman.

[from phoebe:] He then talked about faculty attitudes re: print. Faculty attitude about print survey conducted in 2006:
* 40% of Faculty agreed strongly that maintaining a print collection will always be crucial;
* 20% would be happy to see print collections discarded in favor of good electronic collections
* 62% agree they'd be happy to see current print collections dropped in favor of electronic

We've seen all of these numbers increase since 2003->2006. This shift is likely to make the political case for print preservation progressively more challenging on campuses. Ithaka plans to conduct this survey again next year.

Similar survey of collection development directors in the U.S.:
"In the future it will no longer be necessary for our library to maintain hard-copy versions of journals" -- 40%+ of large research universities agreed; smaller ones agreed much less so.

Research universities continued to say that print preservation was less of a focus for them -- despite the fact that they are the only ones who do it regularly! Research universities are more excited about electronic preservation than print preservation.

Study: 6 copies of a page verified non circulating copy enough to preserve for 100 years at high confidence. (But verifying pages is a multimillion dollar effort without clear benefits).

Faculty think it's more important that *some* libraries keep a hard copy, versus their *own* library keeping a print copy. (And the same is true of research libraries).

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