Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fifty-Seven Channels and Nothing On: The Big Deal

Ah yes, the Big Deal, in which many many many titles are bundled and sold to libraries. Usually it's journals in databases, but sometimes it's a package of ebooks, or a suite of videos, or other multimedia project.

The Big Deal is useful; it allows overtaxed library staff to focus on something other than collection development, especially in areas s/he may not be familiar with (waves to our School of Nursing). The Big Deal puts many resources at our fingertips.

But the big deal is a product of extreme cynicism; as mentioned above, it removes collection development from the purview of library staff. And the far majority of the resources don't get used. The Big Deal is your cable television package: fifty-seven channels and nothing on. Though now it's more like nine hundred channels, tens of thousands of journals. So many options! We're adding more every day! Please pay more for them.

"Wow. Such choices. Amaze. Many research." Via Giphy/thebiggyiff
The Big Deal is patrolled, contested space, in which Harvard Business Review can police your IP addresses and servers, looking for signs of, lord forbid!, actual use while the parent institution, Harvard University, purports to be a proponent of open access.

And as of right now, the Big Deal isn't going anywhere. 

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