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Welcome: Introduction from Karen Hunter
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Karen Hunter
Karen Hunter

Dear Colleagues,

Are we getting closer to a world without paper? Or more accurately to a world where printing is done on demand by the reader, not in advance by the publisher? This issue of Library Connect offers an international perspective on some aspects of being e-only or e-centric.

The first of our feature articles takes a look at Iceland’s successful move to national e-only licenses, giving ubiquitous access to journals and databases from the home and workplace. That usage is split 50-50 between these locations raises many questions about patterns of information access.

Moving from Iceland to New Zealand, we hear about a national effort to cope with digital heritage, this time in the building of a national digital repository. The National Library of New Zealand was charged with ensuring permanent access to the country’s documentary heritage and has an ambitious digital archive program in development.

And from Africa comes a report on the challenges of providing e-resources in this region. The costs and other barriers are still high, but the spread of e-services is rapid and enormously encouraging. Will we move soon to e-only and no print? Probably not, but the value of electronic delivery is undeniable. Please let us know your thoughts on the prospects and problems of e-only.

Karen Hunter,
Senior Vice President, Elsevier, New York, NY, USA

Q & A Snapshot with Karen Hunter

Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: Seeing a policy or position or service I’ve advocated on behalf of libraries getting adopted and put in place.

Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Very little that is work-related. These are incredibly challenging times in publishing, but I am impressed with the number of (young!) Elsevier managers whose intelligence, creativity and genuine concern for the advancement of science and medicine make me optimistic about the future.

Q: How do you keep your blood pressure down?
A: Pills, and remembering that one often has to think out of the box to solve a problem. If all else fails, I keep repeating “This, too, will pass.”

Q: How are you and your husband involved in the selection of bands for Elsevier’s dessert receptions during library conferences in the USA?
A: My husband, who as a lawyer has worked for Elsevier in the past, is a musician and band leader. Our responsibility is to find the right band for the location (e.g., Western swing in Texas, Dixieland in New Orleans), and make all of the booking arrangements. Often we already know the bands we want, but when we have no local contacts it takes some research. We’re their contact at the event and generally my husband plays one or two numbers with them.

Q: What travel destination do you highly recommend?
A: There are two. In Europe I really like Munich. It is an attractive city on a manageable scale, with an extraordinary number of fine museums and good restaurants. The other surprise for me was Hawaii. There is something so very relaxing and appealing about Hawaii, where getting dressed for dinner means putting your shoes on. It’s the ideal halfway culture between the continental USA and Asia.

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