2 Differences between Corporate and Academic Libraries

by Jennifer Crutchfield, Head Editor, INALJ Connecticut

2 Differences between Corporate and Academic Libraries

JenniferCrutchfieldI have been working as a corporate librarian for several months and wanted to share a couple points of comparison that I have found to be the biggest differences between a small academic library and a corporate library. These only my opinions and I’m sure many people would beg to differ, but I’m sharing my thoughts anyway!

The biggest difference I have noticed is accessibility to funds. Though the corporate library is always finding ways to save money and stay within budget there is a little more “wiggle room” if the expense can be justified. Projects and new ideas are always welcome, encouraged, and given serious thought.

Another big difference I have found is copyright. Working for a corporate library, copyright is incredibly important. In the corporate world, making a copyright mistake can cost the company a lot of money. Much of a corporate librarian’s time is spent educating employees about the importance of copyright. In my experience as an academic librarian, I hardly ever had to think about copyright in my everyday duties. This is a huge difference that I am still getting used to.

These are simply characteristics that come with working in different environments. Ultimately, all libraries have sharing information as the common goal. Comments and thoughts are welcome on this topic. I would enjoy reading what others have to say about this.

  3 comments for “2 Differences between Corporate and Academic Libraries

  1. Jessica
    November 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I worked in the research library of a large pharmaceutical company. I second both of Jennifer’s points. Although we did have a budget for our subscriptions, if someone requested a subscription with justification of how it would be used, it was purchased. We kept careful metrics on how often e-journals were accessed and renewed accordingly. Also, we used a mobile library software that required the user to check off how the article would be used (if it would be shared with a third party, with a coworker, etc.) Depending on what was chosen, we would have to pay a fee to ensure that we were copyright compliant.

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