Changing the Direction of Collection Development to Support Online Learning: Negotiating Ebook Purchases with a Society Publisher

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Tans, Eric
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Fishery libraries, publishing, negotiation, professional associations, electronic books, collection development (libraries).
With many higher education institutions transitioning to online education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, academic libraries have increasingly been forced to adjust collection development approaches. This furthers the existing trend towards electronic content and libraries will need to respond by seeking out non-traditional sources; one potential source is society publishers. Society publishers produce important literature in niche fields, but their collections are not always available for library use in electronic format. The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is one such publisher, with 106 monograph titles only available to libraries in print. The faculty, staff, and students in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department at Michigan State University (MSU) rely heavily on AFS monographs, leading the MSU Library to contact AFS to inquire about purchasing ebooks for the library. Electronic access to these texts would allow students, instructors, and researchers to access any title remotely, greatly enhancing their usefulness for remote learning. This paper will describe the negotiation process, MSU’s internal accessibility review of the materials, and the logistics of making the ebook collection available to users.
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