Tracking Perpetual Access: A Survey of Librarian Practices

As librarians continue to grapple with licensed rather than purchased content, many have turned to perpetual access agreements to retain some of the norms of the print world. However, a license agreement only represents the beginning of a library's relationship with a vendor, and perpetual access is not fully assured when the license is signed. In order to maintain perpetual access, librarians must continually track their perpetual access entitlements and adjust their holdings information when changes occur. The present study seeks to determine whether librarians are actively tracking their perpetual access, as well as the methods and systems used to accomplish this. A survey of librarians working with electronic resources found that many librarians were not tracking perpetual access, and they expressed uncertainty regarding their plans for ensuring this access.