On 5/19/2011 1:23 PM, Ryan Engel wrote:
> There are some who argue that if it's valuable to others, then others
> should pay for it (even when the improved access benefits your
> institution first and foremost, and distribution of the improvements
> is an arguably beneficial side effect) . Why should one institution
> carry the financial burden of improving something that benefits others
> beyond that institution? It's not an argument I agree with, but it's
> one I've heard before.
It is a somewhat odd position especially for libraries who have been in
the business of providing service to others at no profit to themselves
for many years, including in technical matters such as cooperative
cataloging and lending via ILL. Libraries have gotten to be where they
are today by willing to chip in for the general good on a sort of
"generalized reciprocity" basis.