Quoting Karen Coyle 05/19/11 1:32 AM >>>
> In what ways do you think that libraries today are not friendly to free stuff?
From my own (rather limited) experience, I think collection developers see free/open source/open access stuff as a bit of a management challenge:
- As Graham says, there's a sunk-cost issue: you're going to prioritize the stuff you paid for over free stuff since you've already invested resources in it.
- I think there's a fear of a slippery slope and/or information overload: How do you assess the whole realm of freely-available stuff? How do you prioritize it? How do you ingest it? How do you find the staff energy to maintain all the records? How do you know when to stop? There's also the possibility of drowning out your core collection strengths with material that's irrelevant to your main users, unless you spend a lot of time and energy selecting carefully.
- I imagine there's also the lingering perception of getting what you pay for in many minds: it may be perceived that free stuff simply isn't of sufficient quality to include in a high-profile collection. If you do want to vet the free stuff you add to the collection, there's more staff cost.
I am sure there are other perceived challenges. I'm curious to see what Eric has to say; he's way more savvy on this kind of thing than I am, that's for sure.