Small but pristine — lessons for small library automation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Small libraries are often more successful at effective automation than the large resource-rich research libraries. One reason is that their pragmatic attitudes turn many of the small libraries' disadvantages in the areas of collection, staff and budget size to their advantage. Small collections are more readily automated and easily accessed, they have limited automation budgets and measurable improvements in basic services and operations receive top priority. This creates a results-oriented accountability • which pressures smaller libraries to make their systems work or to look elsewhere. Large libraries, by contrast, are often disappointed when overly ambitious automation projects flounder. Bringing software development in-house often only compounds the problem. This paper argues that large libraries should follow the lead of their less prestigious neighbors by focusing on a more practical approach to automation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-248
Number of pages5
JournalThe Electronic Library
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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