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The New Abnormal: Periodicals Price Survey 2021

The New Abnormal: Periodicals Price Survey 2021

“Looking past the pandemic to the new periodicals landscape

“The year… will be remembered as one of angst, with the economy dominating news around the world. Few libraries were immune [from] the extraordinary financial pressures. The library marketplace by year’s end was in a weakened position, with prospects of a long recovery at best. Concern  persists that even deeper budget cuts will come when federal stimulus money expires…. Even when the economy improves, increased funds for libraries are not likely to be at the top of the list for new spending priorities. Libraries may not [ever] see a ‘return to normal’ [and] instead…search for a ‘new normal.’ ”

So opened LJ’s Periodicals Price Survey for 2010. Jump ahead to 2021 and a paragraph written 11 years ago rings even truer. But having spent over a decade adjusting to a “new normal” of serials inflation, harsh budget cuts, and a redirection of spending from collections to services, arguably few if any libraries were prepared for the turmoil wrought by a pandemic. Overnight, public and academic libraries across the United States scrambled to deliver collections and services entirely virtually, with little to no physical presence. Some moved to “click & collect” models to provide access to physical collections and/or took advantage of the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service. Regardless of the means, we have shifted to a new abnormal. How will libraries survive and thrive after the pandemic subsides? What might our new abnormal look like?”

Posted on: June 18, 2021, 6:16 am Category: Uncategorized

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