Finding More Ways to Track Content
by Kathy Dempsey
Managing Your Electronic Content may sound like a simple subject to outsiders,
but information professionals know better. The features and columns in this
issue are proof of how complicated it can be.
I'm starting to think that this is one of the tasks that's greatly under-appreciated
by everyone outside our field. "Managing electronic content? What's there to
manage? Just make a list of everything you buy!" Yeah, right. Users just don't
understand that you can't make just one list, that your holdings change according
to the whims of the aggregators you buy from, and that list maintenance could
be a full-time job by itself.
But, just as library pros learned to efficiently handle countless print titles,
they are getting a grip on managing the electronic ones. The articles in this
issue outline several ways that your peers are managing holdings lists and
allowing open access. The tools they're using range from XML to vendor services
that update lists for you. Such projects may still be complicated for you to
plan and start up, but once in place, these tools can make your life a lot
If your staff has been struggling with the question "What's the best section
on our Web site to carry the links to our various electronic resources?" then
you're not alone. The University of Wisconsin's Todd Digby has deduced that
the best spot might be more than one spot, and he tells us how he's started
making changes to help patrons find resources more easily, starting on page
Did you ever think about creating your own content management system? It
really can be done; see the feature that starts on page 8 to see how a duo
in Michigan pulled it off. Finally, one academic has used XML to tie together
the two lists that usually never meet, print and electronic journals holdings.
If you turn to page 14 you can learn from her experience.
And my favorite column this month was Marshall Breeding's dissection of the
topic from two sides; be sure to check it out on page 25.
Kathy Dempsey, Editor
Kathleen L. Dempsey is the Editor
of Computers in Libraries. Her email address