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Sharing the Load: Distribution of Electronic Resources Management Responsibilities Among US Academic Librarians

journal contribution
posted on 2021-11-15, 21:24 authored by David Macaulay
While electronic resources now constitute a major component of most academic library collections, and the Electronic Resources Librarian (ERL) position has become commonplace, the field of Electronic Resources librarianship is still not entirely standardized. Responsibility for the various tasks associated with electronic resources management (ERM) may fall on a single specialized professional, or be divided up among positions in the organization; responsibility for a given task may or may not be shared by multiple personnel. This article presents the results of a survey of academic librarians in the US who work with electronic resource collections, asking them about the range of tasks for which they are responsible, whether these responsibilities are shared, and how this work may be combined with other areas of responsibility. The results indicate that librarians who work in the field of ERM are responsible for a roughly similar workload whether or not they hold the title of ERL, though certain tasks are more likely to be the responsibility of ERLs. ERM responsibilities in general are frequently shared by multiple personnel within academic libraries. At institutions that spend more on electronic resources, certain specialized responsibilities associated with ERLs are much more frequently shared with paraprofessionals.



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