P and/or E: That Is (Still) the Question (Or Is It?) Collection Development in a Post-pandemic World

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David Edward Schmersal
Steve Perisho
Juliana Morley


While the question of whether to choose the print and/or electronic format of a given title is certainly not new, the circumstances in which we are making such decisions have changed, prompting many of us to reconsider collection development priorities. Three librarians share their observations in answering three interrelated questions: (1) How did limited access to print collections affect student research behavior and faculty expectations in the course of the pandemic? (2) What strategies have libraries adopted to provide access to print-exclusive content? and (3) What criteria do they use in determining whether print or digital format is more suitable for a given title? While electronic resources certainly offer advantages, those who make and/or inform collection development decisions would do well to consider potential pedagogical implications of format as well as the ways in which providing access to electronic format exclusively may affect our ability to serve library patrons beyond the seminary community, including alumni and local clergy.

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