Ingalls Library Launches Article Distribution Project for Curatorial Staff

Submitted by Jason Schafer on

With over 1,100 subscriptions to art journals from around the globe, the Ingalls Library takes in a lot of new print magazines and other periodicals, sometimes dozens on a given day. There is such a steady influx of materials that it can be hard for patrons to keep an eye on all of this new scholarship and information as it becomes part of the library’s vast collection of serials.

In an effort to connect library patrons directly with these new arrivals, the Ingalls Library has implemented an article distribution pilot project that delivers content from the world of print straight to the inboxes of a select group of museum staff.

The project is simple. The Serials Department has created a list of around 175 titles representing a thoroughly vetted cross section of subject matter. When an issue of a title from the list arrives at the library it is set aside.  At the end of each week the covers and title pages of each of the selected journals are scanned and saved as a PDF file.  These tables of content are then emailed to participants who select articles that are of interest by sending a return email that provides the title of the journal and page number of the article(s) to be copied. The library then scans the selected articles, places them into a Microsoft OneDrive folder and provides a link so that the requester can read their selections. In order to be respectful of copyright, only the person receiving the articles can open the folder in which they are contained.  

The project is off to a great start with several new requests coming into the library each week.

Here’s Ingalls Library Director Heather Saunders expounding upon some of the benefits:

“Through this pilot project, I have been reading up on multiple media around the world and over a broad span of history, all from the convenience of my desk. Even though my office is around the corner from some 200 periodicals, inevitably I become engrossed in my work and personal edification becomes a lower priority. I love being able to cherry pick articles and skim through them on my lunch break. Push technology is appealing, because reading is made as easy as possible. Also, since I’m already reading online, it is easy to continue research on related topics using the Internet. Of course, one has to set limits. Last week, I was so fascinated by an article that my jaw dropped!”