Letters to the Editor

Faculty Bill of Rights for Library Services

David L. Stonehill, May 1992

In the March 1992 issue of Perspectives, L. Morris et al., present an excellent article on a faculty bill of rights for library services. In the article they state, "Periodicals subscriptions should not be cancelled just because they are expensive ... "

Without modification, this point of view places libraries in a trap. They must carry reputable journals without regard to the cost charged to the publisher. If the libraries are constrained by faculty rights not to exert the pressures of the marketplace on the publishing industry, periodical prices will continue to rise at over 10 percent per year.

In the long run, the results of this passivity will erode library collections rather than build them. A few highly priced publications will drive many others out of the collection. I believe that librarians should consider price of journals as one of the criteria in making the current sadly required price cuts. I also urge that social scientists begin to consider journal price as one of the criteria for the journals in which they communicate their results.

David L. Stonehill, Director
Marine Biological Laboratory/Woods Hole Oceanic Institute Library