Purpose – This paper aims to continue the discussion of the difficulties that librarians face in creating a relevant and useful collection of standards. For developing countries the magnitude of the available standards and the huge costs make this task daunting. Design/methodology/approach – The types of standards, their role in ensuring that the World's structures, facilities, goods, etc. conform to ensure health and safety, the ranges and finally the needs of the University of the West Indies (UWI) are discussed. The UWI Main Library's approaches to grappling with the relevant issues are then explored. Findings – The electronic age offers speedy access to information resources provided that there are financial resources. Electronic access to such documents as and when they are needed (just‐in‐time philosophy) seems the most viable option, given the cost constraints. Other options could be customised collections crafted to suit the needs of students and faculty, or electronic clearinghouses externally subsidised by a philanthropic body to obtain the articles via an Internet system. Any of these could be developed and ensure cost‐effective seamless access, so giving a world‐class service anywhere in the World. Of course, knowledgeable librarians and good abstracts are also essential. Practical implications – The cost of these technical documents is prohibitive for a developing country library to be able to have a large collection of standards but, if there is good internet access and a sound database to obtain abstracts, and if sufficient funds are in place, an efficient procedure could be developed for “just‐in‐time” access. Originality/value – The paper examines some of the best options available to the Main Library of The University of the West Indies to ensure that engineering students gain access to current standards.
Collection Building – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 19, 2011
Keywords: Technical regulations; Budgetary control; Financing; Developing countries
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