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Periodical service in college libraries

Somwanshi Trimurti Baburao (2016)

1.0 College libraries: Higher education is one of the complex systems of the whole process of education, which facilitates teaching, research, extension, and understanding. In academic education, college is the middle of the school and university. So College library is most important for young generations, for developing ideas. (periodical)

1.1) Definitions:


“The dictionary of education edited by C.V. Good defines the term ‘college’ as: “An institution of higher education, usually offering only a curriculum in a liberal degree”. “A major division of a university, usually division of arts and science especially one that required for admission to study beyond the completion of secondary education”. Likewise, another Dictionary of education edited by R.P. Taneja defines the term ‘college ‘as a “tertiary institute of the higher education establishment, usually of junior status to a university”.

College Library:

Every educational institution requires a library containing various information sources. Because the library is a heart of any institutions. Every college has a library. P.N. Gaur defines the term ‘college library’ as a library organized and administered by a college for the use of its students and members of staff.

1.2) Collections of College Library:

Today we live in the 21st Century. Presently collection of print and non-print materials can be easily available for user’s satisfaction in the library. The goal of a college library is to provide an effective combination of print, non-print and electronic resources. All of these important resources support for the teaching, learning and co-curricular activities of the college. Any college library creates a self-collection development policy for user satisfaction.

Collection and development of reading material or document is the most important activity of the library. Collection involves several kinds of documents like Newspapers, books including simple books & Reference books, periodicals, government publications, academic thesis and dissertation, research reports, annual reviews, trade literature, maps, globes, pamphlets and new types of document are floppies, compact discs, DVD, audio-visual materials, and also including e-journals is a advance version of periodicals.

1.2.1) Different forms of periodical: Journals:

Periodical is one of the most important sources of information in the library. It carries the latest information in all fields of knowledge. The persons engaged in research and higher studies want to refer the periodicals to see their findings published and made known at the earliest.

Collection of Periodicals is very important for any academic and research libraries. Periodicals are the primary source of information and awareness and are invariably more up-to-date than those of books. Periodicals are also known as serials, journals, magazine, e-journals etc.Management of Periodicals

The importance of serials for offering current information particularly to research workers has long been identified. The latest ideas on any subject found in the periodical literature, rather than in a book. Most original scientific work is first published in a periodical.

“Likewise ‘serial’ is the term most frequently met with; it is considered by some to be synonymous to, by other superior to and still by other totally distinct from the term ‘periodical’ Magazine, organ, review, journal and indeed, newspapers are also subjected to terminological chaos “. Newspapers:

Every morning maximum peoples are reading newspapers, to update from all news including in the newspapers, presently newspapers are are published in so many languages. All current information about not only research also social problems, environmental, sports and entertainment event also include. So newspaper is the complete mirror of all society.

“A newspaper according to it “is a publication issued at stated and frequent intervals, usually daily weekly or semi-weekly, which reports events and discusses topics of current interests”.

“According to Davidson, “newspaper is a medium of communication usually published daily or weekly by which information on current affairs, opinion and entertaining features are circulated among the people. It intended for the purpose of the swift and accurate dissemination of the latest news and views. It frequently advocates opinions, often contains advertisement and print matter of general public interest”.

According to Ranganathan, “Periodical publication of which each volume made-up of distinct and independent” Contribution not forming a continuous exposition, normally by two or more personal authors and normally the specific subjects and the authors of the contribution, is published in successive volumes also being in general, different but all the subjects falling within one and the same region of knowledge contemplated to be brought within its purview”.”

“The Library of Congress noticed the importance of serials in 1946 and began to improve their bibliographic control for an effective countrywide service. The following statement was issued by the Library of Congress in 1947 in respect of serials publication. Serials publications (including newspapers, periodicals, bulletins, reports, most Government documents, and books in series), constitute perhaps 75 percent of all publications, an indispensable part from the viewpoints of research. It is in serial publications that advance information and discussion are found; in them are also found the detailed records which support a most scientific, legal, and historical study. Attention to the acquisition and recording of serial publications is, therefore, of most importance to every large research library. Because the separate issues of serials cannot be treated individually as books are treated, but must be considered in conjunction with other issues, they represent the form of publication which is most difficult to be control at all stages — acquisition, accessioning, processing, and service.”

Glossary of library terms, e.g., “A publication issued in successive parts, usually at regular intervals and as a rule, intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials include periodicals, annuals (reports, yearbooks, etc) and memoirs, proceedings and transactions of societies”.

Tuttle eulogizes AACR2 for it has defined the term “serial” quite well. The following statement from the code is said to be standard definition: A publication in any medium issued in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials include periodical; newspapers; annuals (reports, yearbooks, etc.) the journals, memoirs, proceedings, transactions, etc., of societies; and numbered monographic series.” Magazine:

“A Magazine is defined by the ALA Glossary Library and Information Science as “a periodical for general reading, containing articles on various subjects by different authors”. Times, sports, Illustrated, people, or playboy are an example of a magazine.”

According to Gable, “Without special periodical, the scientist would be handicapped by lack of knowledge of development in his field.”

“A good college library should also provide selected periodicals and newspaper for recreational reading and for information purposes. Some college no doubts to a few newspapers, journals, and magazines but they do not generally make them properly available to the students for information and research. The literature on serial publications have grown rapidly in extent and college libraries if they are selected to the needs of the students. One or two daily newspapers are also necessary for having current information and also for clipping local periodicals on hobbies and recreation games and sports travel and geography etc. Some educational journals may also be subscribed for use of the teachers. Magazine title should be evaluated every year and new title should be subscribed & old one to be dropped if found unsuitable or less valuable. Some contain article, story, poems by the best writers, some contain mainly trash and many are a mixture of good writing and trash. The librarian should choose carefully out of the magazines available in the library those that are to be read regularly and put aside those that are least valuable to the student.

Magazines appear at regular intervals ranging from once a week. Several issues of magazines, such as all those published from January to December, make what is called value. Magazines holders or protectors should be employed when the periodicals are displayed in the reading room for use of the readers. The magazine parts making a volume should be well bound into a book, usually with a title page often with an index and preserved in the library for audit band check purposed a separate register maintained, which should contain information regarding periodicals publication subscribed by the college library. “

1.3 Types of Periodical:

The periodicals contain various types of information i.e. research results, advertising the activities of an institution, firm or industry and entertainment. They can be categorized according to their nature of thought contents, relating to the aims behind the publication and the time schedule required for their appearance.

“According to Gable the periodicals can be categorized as under:

(1) Those intended to foster the interest of knowledge.

(2) Those intended to foster the interests of a trade, profession or society.

(3) Money-making ventures (Intended for popular appeal).”

The periodicals can be classified according to their thought contents as follows:

1) Scholarly periodicals: This type of periodicals includes the research papers and the articles in support of the academic activities of the scholars. Scholarly periodicals are generally devoted to the educational build-up of the society e.g. Indian Journal of Agricultural science, Indian Journal of social Research etc.

2) Trade periodicals: This type of periodicals is published by the trade organizations, firms, and industries for the advertisement of their product. These periodicals focus on the popularity of the trade or the business of the firm’s e. g. ESCORT News, Zuari News, etc.

3) Review periodicals: Review periodicals are helpful to the library personnel, booksellers and distributors. They publish the review of the newly published books or periodicals, i.e. Lalit, Book Review, Indian Books and Indian Press Index, etc.

4) Popular periodicals: A periodical publication which is simplified form of Government Department, Society or other corporate bodies by which it is popularly known e.g. Femina, Dharmayuga, Lokprabha, etc.

5) Magazines: Generally these are meant for the entertainment purpose. They contain articles on various subjects by different authors e.g. India Today, Imprint, etc.

6) Indexing periodicals: This type of periodicals is fully devoted to the bibliographic information of the book or the articles published in other periodicals, e.g. Index India, Index Medicus.

7) Abstracting periodicals: Abstracting periodicals publish only the abstract of the periodical articles, books, pamphlets, proceedings of seminars, etc. along with the bibliographic description e.g. Horticultural Abstracts, Field Crop Abstracts, etc.

Indexing and abstracting periodicals are very useful for the researcher to retrieve the information on their subject of the interest without loss of the time.”

“According to Harvey, There are various types of periodicals that are by their functions or forms;

1) Bank Journal

2) Computer-based Journals

3) Current awareness Journals

4) Electronic Journals

5) Foreign language Journals

6) Government periodicals

7) Microform periodicals

8) Official periodicals

9) On-demand periodicals

10) Reprint Journals.

“D.E. Davidson categorizes periodicals into four classes those from learned and professional societies, house journals, “commercial ventures,” and newspapers”.

1.4 Frequency of Periodical Publication:

Magazines, periodicals, and journals are published at various intervals. According to the frequency of their publication, it may be daily, bi-weekly, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, annual or irregular.

1) Daily: This type of periodical is published every day. The best example of this type of periodical is the ‘newspapers’ they contain the daily international, national, state, regional and local news. Example: Indian Express, Times of India, Maharashtra Times, Lokmat, Sakal etc.

2) Bi-Weekly: Bi-weekly periodicals are published twice a week.

3) Weekly: Weekly periodical is publishing on a particular day of a week, i.e. Economic & Political weekly, India Today, Employment News etc.

4) Fortnightly: This periodical is issued twice in a month at the interval of fifteen days. Ex. Agricultural Science Digest, Krishi Pragati etc.

5) Monthly: This type of periodical is issued in every month. Twelve issues are published in a year, i.e. Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, NAAC News, Journal of Library and Information technology, DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, Yojana, Lokrajya, Shikshan Sankraman, and Pratiyogita Darpan etc.

6) Bi-monthly: Bi-monthly periodicals are published jointly for two months. The yearly volume contains six issues i.e. Agriculture Check list.

7) Quarterly: Quarterly periodicals are published four in a year and at the interval of three months. Ex. Dnyngangotri,

8) Half yearly: Two issues are published in a year. Ex. Crop Improvement,

9) Annually: Only one issue of the periodical is published for a year. Ex. Year Book,

10) Irregular: No specific time schedule is allotted for the publication of this type of periodicals. In spite of above types of periodicals; some are published 3 times a year, 7 times a year, 8 times a year, etc.

1.5 Selection & Acquire of periodical:

The task of acquisition involves careful selection, methodological ordering and regular procurement of materials. While selecting the periodical titles, the librarian has to consider the influencing factors related to the financial position and readers demand. The material can be acquired by means of subscription, purchase, gift, exchange or deposit.

The term ‘acquisition’ is used for the procurement process of books and periodicals and other reading materials in a systematic manner. The aim of the Librarian while procuring the material should be the best material for most readers at the least cost.

Grenfell suggested the following factors to be considered while selecting the title.

(1) Financial resources of the library;

(2) Periodicals already taken;

(3) The scope of the library;

(4) Demands of the library;

(5) Whether the title is easily available.

The tremendous growth in publications, hacking cost of subscriptions, shortage of funds and financial cuts in the library budget are the major problems in procurement of the periodicals. Therefore it is essential to have a proper title selection policy, identification of core periodicals and relevant reading materials. A basically sound program for serial requires a systematic linking of materials with coursework and research policy of the patent system.

Paul-Mayes suggested involving the users in selection policy of the periodicals. He states that: “It is many ways good policy to involve users in selection/cancellation process. It not only leads to a more relevant collection but by involving readers in the decision making process it goes a long way to creating a better understanding on both sides.”

1.5.1 Selection of Newspapers:

The newspaper covers the matter at different levels i.e. local, regional, state, national and international. Newspapers are the source of up-to-date news and feature articles of all kinds. Some newspaper aims to be comprehensive in their news coverage; some bias towards education and social affairs. Some are solely concerned with financial information.

The selection of the newspapers depends on the reader’s interest. In public Library, they prefer to have local newspapers and some newspapers covering the matter at state and national level. In academic or University Libraries they select the newspapers, which publish scholarly articles along with the national and international news.

1.5.2 Selection Tools for Periodical:

Periodical selection tools play an important role in the acquisition of periodicals. It facilitates the acquisition of good periodicals. The criteria of standard selection tool are that it should provide regular and up-to-date and maximum latest information on the periodicals published throughout the world. So this is important collection for selection.

“Lakshman Prasad has enlisted some sources which help in acquiring the periodicals.” They are:

1) Directories

2) Indexing and Abstracting services

3) Standard list of periodicals for different types of libraries.”

Mittal has enlisted 21 periodical selection tools. Some of them are:

1) Ulrich International Periodical Directory, New York;

2) World List of Scientific Periodicals, New York;

3) Willing’s Press Guide: a comprehensive index and handbook of the press of the United Kingdom together with Dominion U.K.

4) Nifor Guide to Indian periodicals, 1955-56, Poona.

5) British Union Catalogue of periodicals.

6) Directory of periodicals, New York.

7) A catalogue of German periodicals, London.

8) New Serials Titles, Library of Congress.

9) Overseas Newspapers and periodicals guidebook, Europe.

10) World List of National Newspapers, London;

11) British National Bibliography, Great Britain.

12) Times Literary Supplement, under ‘Current Periodicals Column.

13) Bulletin of the New York Public Library.

14) College and Research Libraries.

15) Nature.

16) UNESCO Bulletin for Libraries;

17) Stechert Hafner Book News.

18) Aslib Information.

19) Serial Titles Newly received (Library of Congress)

20) Indian National Bibliography

21) A new Quarterly proposed to be published by the publisher of “Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory.”

There are many selection tools like Ulrich International Directory but there is no standard tool for Indian coverage. A few efforts, like Gidwani and Navlani’s “Indian periodical: An Annotated Guide; INSDOC Guide to scientific periodicals, Reports of the Registrar of Newspapers (vol.2), Accession List: Annual serial Volume, and Indian periodical Record etc. are available.”

It must be the duty of acquisition librarian to tap all resources of information about serials that have just appeared or are forthcoming. For this purpose he should:

1) Examine accession lists of other libraries.

2) Go through trade and national bibliographies systematically.

3) Keep his ears to the local media; consult colleagues and specialists for hints of new titles.

4) Look for new works in abstracting indexing services.

5) Scan notices and reviews in journals.

6) Take counsel with selection officers in neighboring libraries.

It is thus essentials that a body of standard periodicals selection tools be acquired regularly and kept up-to-date so that maximum latest information can be had without much difficulty. The following are some of the important profession tours which should be kept in well established library.

1) The IMS directory of publications (formerly Ayer directory of publication) fort Washington, Pennsylvania: IMS press, 1880 to- date annual.

2) Directory of Canadian scientific and Technical Periodicals Standard Periodicals.

3) Guide to Current Periodicals, London.

4) Irregular Serial and Annuals, New York.

5) Katz, Bill and Gargel, Berry, Magazines for Libraries for the general reader and public school, junior colleges and college libraries, New York.

6) New Serial Titles, Washington.

7) Standard Periodical Directory 1964 to-date, New York: Oxbridge, Biennial.

8) Stewart, J.D. and others, eds. British Union Catalogue of Periodical, London.

9) Ulrich’s International periodicals directory; A classified guide to a selected list of current periodicals: Foreign and domestic. 29th Edition New York, R.R. Bowker, 1990.

10) Willing’ Press Guide, London.

11) World list of scientific periodicals. New York.

12) Ulrich’s Plus. It is a complete international database on CD ROM disc. Gives access to complete Ulrich’s and irregular serials and annual database. Comprises more than 92,000 irregularly issued periodicals plus 46,000 irregular serials. Enables to explore database with search categories and allows access by titles, by the editor, first year of publication. Provides keyword searching, boosting Ulrich’s 534 subject categories etc. (annuals).”


“The Principle methods of displaying or shelving of periodicals according to Davinson are a review here under:

1. Display alongside related subject on the book shelves.

2. Display in separate sequence or sequences is but close related subject in a book sequence.

3. Display in classified sequence parallel to the book sequence but in another part of the room as a separate display feature.

4. Display in an alphabetical sequence according to titles of the periodicals.

5. Display in separate periodicals room, the sequence of periodicals either alphabetic by title or in subject group”.

All the issues of the journals are displayed soon after its registration, on the periodical display racks so the proceeding issues are replaced with the new ones. The former issue may be sent to the department concerned for readily available.

1.7 Periodicals Circulation:

In college and university libraries there is comparatively little circulation of current issues except among library staff for official purposes. The reasons for non-circulation are, firstly the tie-in with abstracting and indexing services and secondly conservation of stock for binding. Some items may circulate by way of exception only. Again, photo coping facility has reduced the need for the item in the periodical room to circulate. However, if they are loaned, the period does not go beyond three days or in some cases a week.

Advantages of periodical circulations:

Arguments in favor of circulation are reviewed as under:

1) If books are lent, periodical should also be loaned.

2) The research staff is too busy to be able to spend much time in the library and senior staff, in particular, must be available in their office or laboratory in case they are required.

3) Current literature can only be read or scanned by busy people in odd moments or during leisure hours.

4) The distance from the library prevents some people from using it regularly.

5) The small library has not sufficient reading room.

6) The material must be provided to the readers rather than remain unused, but available, on the library shelves.


The following arguments are equally valid against circulation:

1) Research staff should be made to realize the value of a visit to the library to browse and see other accessions other than journals, and to make contact with the staff.

2) If current journals are circulated and no duplicate copies are received, the current numbers will inevitably not be available for other readers in the library.

3) There will be delays, possibly of several weeks, before the request for ordinary borrowing can be met.

4) The loan of journals to others not on the circulation list is a common failing and acids to the delay making it difficult to trace issues quickly and often resulting in lost copies.”

5) Failure to past journals along within a specified time adds to the conclusion unless they are passed to each person on the list by the library itself, which is often an involved process.”

6) The duties connected with circulation with occupying as much as a percent of the working day of one member of the staff in an average library and in some cases circulation is a full-time job. Often special messengers are employed to deliver journals at the residence of academic lords/member of the committee or “so-called” leaders of library profession in Pakistan. The librarians who deny this prerogative to the above high are risking their career.”

1.8 Periodical Preservation:

“Preservation is not an antiquarian exercise for keeping objects from the past simply because they are old. It is a managerial tool for making information available to users. The basic issues of the preservation policy can, therefore, best be stated in terms of the intended or predicted use of the materials. One can reduce these issues to three fundamental questions:

1) What is to be preserved?

2) For how long is it to be preserved?

3) By what means is it to be preserved?

If the collection to be properly developed and managed, there must be a process of selection for preservation.”

However, there is no easy answer, and even major researches libraries are initiating to reconsider their commitment to total preservation. The objective of the preservation policy is to make information available to users by selecting for preservation the material in which information is stored.

“Deterioration is the process by which library material is damaged, destroyed or decayed by means of various factors like environmental, biological, chemical etc. Repair and restoration is also a part of preservation & conservation that is basically concerned with the already damaged or affected library material. It is our responsibility to create user – friendly environment and preserve library material for future generation.

In general ‘Conservation’ and ‘Preservation’ word are used synonymously but they are the two different aspects of the same coin. Preservation deals with the regular maintenance aspect whereas conservation deals with remedial treatment.

1) Environmental factors: Environmental factors are responsible for the decay and deterioration of library material in two ways. First, the environmental factors directly cause deterioration under extreme condition. Secondly the environmental factor indirectly responsible to cause and accelerates the chemical and biological deterioration and damage.

2) Biological factors: Almost all libraries materials are prone to be attacked by groups of micro-organism insects and rodents. Very often library collections are damaged by pest and the phenomenon is generally known as bi-deterioration.

3) Chemical factors: Chemical deterioration is the most damaging and destructive conditions for the library material. It can be internal which exists within the element of the physical composition of library material or external that is more or less visible.

4) Other factors: Human involvement in causing deterioration and even destruction of library material is arguably one of the major factors.

Library materials represent the lifelong labors undertaken by philosophers and scientist. It is one’s responsibility to create a user-friendly environment and preserve library material for future generation. After all, one can say that if we want to fulfill the five laws of library science and satisfy our user it is necessary that document is in good condition. “.

1.9 Periodicals Binding:

Periodicals constitute a very significant part of the library collection, especially research libraries and university libraries. The binding of these materials in a research library represents important elements of conservation. They should be carefully checked at intervals all through the year for completeness and due care should be taken to obtain for every periodical regarding its title page, contents and index from the publishers when available. The checked sets may then be bound according to the use anticipated. The advent of their wear and tear is comparatively less. Thus libraries can save space and money by going in for light storage binding that is a cloth binding with boards of strength adequate to save unnecessary expense. It is not advisable to bind permanent materials which are fragile, rare items, archives, and newspapers. For their protection, they should be laminated. File envelopes and specially sized flat storage boxes are more suitable for archival material. Special collections, rarities, and other beautiful works may be bound with special ‘fine bindings’. Microfilming offers the best available solution to the problem of conservation of newspapers. Newspapers can be bound in canvas covers or in an economy-binding consisting of stout boards covered with a paper like material with cloth of leather spines.

The accessioned journals are sent for binding. Generally, the journal has a half-leather binding. The bulky volumes are bound in parts; one volume may have two three or more parts as the case may be. The bound journal bears the name of the title in brief, year, vol. No. and the part (if any).

“Binding is major and labor-intensive operation in many libraries. During-1995-96. Association of Research Libraries (ARL) libraries spent more than $ 25 million on contract binding of which approximately two-thirds were spent for serials. This section addresses the processing aspects of binding after the collection management decision to bind a particular title has been reached. The discussion assumes that serials are bound at a commercial bindery rather than in-house.

A binding schedule should be established for each title. Most periodicals are bound once a year when a complete bibliographical volume is bound as a physical volume frequently issued titles that will be bound in more than a single physical volume may be sent to the bindery two or more times per year. Some libraries avoid sending the most recent issue to reduce pattern inconvenience. Instructions on the binding schedule and binding requirements for periodical titles can be kept in a check-in file, a bindery file, or an automated system. Some automated system contains a “Binding Information File” that serves as master files pertinent binding data.”

1.10 Furniture:

The needs of furniture and equipment of individual departments and sections should be given careful consideration so that the users and the staff experience ease, comfort, convenience and efficiency in their work. Generally, library furniture is of two types of wooden and metal. The standard furniture is usually made of metal whereas the ordered furniture is made of wood. These days some firms have also started manufacturing plastic furniture for the libraries. It is advisable to visit some good libraries and some manufacturers of library furniture before deciding on the type of furniture to be ordered.

Three important criteria for selection of furniture are a function, maintenance, and appearance. Various kinds of furniture required for a library are stacking room racks. Periodical display rack, Cupboards, Display unit (Both side)Bulletin board, Card catalogue cabinet, Charging desks, Newspaper stand, Pigeonhole rack, Noticeboard for current issue, Book/Periodical Trolley and some special furniture items in Steel, Wooden, or Fiber etc., for sitting purpose, tables and chairs for the staff and the users are also required.

Collected From:

  • Baburao, S. T. (2011). Management of periodicals in college libraries affiliated to Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University Nanded A study. Retrieved from: http://hdl.handle.net/10603/166457


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