anniversary and change BMACLENN@UVMVM.BITNET 22 Oct 1991 02:34 UTC

                SERIALST: Anniversary and Change

Friday, October 18, marked the one year anniversary of SERIALST.
Early messages in the archives from a year ago reflect an unsure
tentativeness and a testing of the waters as we were learning
about the mechanics of mail distribution and what might unfold...
though it didn't seem to take too long for us to get down to some
nitty gritty serials issues and develop a forum.

Well, birthdays are a time for reflection and change...

For a year now, SERIALST has been an unmoderated/unedited
discussion group operating with technical support from Computer
Operations at the University of Vermont.  When the forum first
began, I did not entertain thoughts about trying to moderate it,
but rather, wanted to ensure a means for a fast, spontaneous
outlet for questions and concerns related to most aspects of
serials processing in libraries (excluding messages on serials
pricing issues, which were already covered by the existence of
For the most part (and to the credit of the serials community)
this has worked according to the original idea... and the list
has sustained itself, while continuing to grow (there are
currently 665+ subscribers to SERIALST) without editorial

There have, however, been a few instances where list maintenance
mail has slipped through and caused minor problems, or led to
unnecessary postings... and, recently, some of you have been
sending me newsworthy items and asking about posting them to the

These events have caused me to reconsider an editorial approach
as a means of enhancing and expanding the scope of SERIALST.
Since last summer, Marcia Tuttle, editor of the NEWSLETTER ON
SERIALS PRICING ISSUES, and I have been exchanging messages
about co-editing SERIALST.  The proposal that we have come up
with and that I am about to put forth, was recently approved by
the Editorial Board of the Newsletter (Deana Astle, Jerry Curtis,
Chuck Hamaker, Jim Mouw, Heather Steele).  Because SERIALST does
not have an editorial board at this point in time, I am posting
this to subscribers for feedback, commentary, and a prelude of
what's to come, before taking steps to put it into place...

To quote from Marcia's Oct. 5 memo to her Board (by way of additional
background information)... "I have felt the need to disseminate
pricing news more rapidly than I can do in the newsletter and
have mentioned the possibility of beginning a discussion group on
serials pricing, with appropriate messages being repeated in the

We are proposing that we expand the scope of SERIALST to include
issues and concerns on serials pricing, while upgrading the
technical parameters of the list to accommodate a forum that would
be co-edited by Marcia Tuttle and myself (for starters).  While
the discussion group (i.e., SERIALST) will cover a full range of
serials topics and benefit from editorial intervention, selected
messages from SERIALST will also be included in the "From the

The changes will go into effect the first week of November
(unless there is a significant outcry from you, the readers, of
SERIALST) and should not significantly change outer appearances
(though there may be a few quirks and rumbles as we get used to
things).  The only difference will be that mail will be screened
by an editor before it is distributed to the list.  All other
technical complaints (error messages and listserv maintenance)
will still be handled by yours truly, in collaboration with
technical support from the University of Vermont's computer
center personnel.

So there you have it.  What do you think about it?  Feel free
to send public comments to SERIALST, or private comments to me
or to Marcia (TUTTLE@UNC).

Birdie MacLennan
SERIALST Listowner / Serials Cataloger
Bailey/Howe Library                       BMACLENN@UVMVM
University Of Vermont                     BMACLENN@UVMVM.UVM.EDU