News from the Library: The 'long tail' Library

"The term 'long tail' has gained popularity in recent times as describing the retailing strategy of selling a large number of unique items with relatively small quantities sold of each usually in addition to selling fewer popular items in large quantities. The long tail was popularized by Chris Anderson, who mentioned, Apple and Yahoo! as examples of businesses applying this strategy." *


If we leave the business environment and move to the world of libraries, we still see this "long tail". Usually, only a small portion of a library's book collection accounts for the majority of its loans. On the other hand, there are a variety of "niche information needs" that might not be met, as libraries cannot afford to build up huge collections of documents available just-in-case.

However, the networked environment of today's libraries can offer a solution. Online networks of libraries can help discovery (that is, help find where a book is), but also help to provide a lending service between libraries. The CERN Library can thus meet your needs when our collections do not include the document you are looking for. Thanks to an efficient and cost-effective network of libraries, you can have books and articles (the latter, usually, as a PDF) delivered to you. The loan and article delivery service is free of charge.

More information is available here.

As usual, your feedback is welcome:

*Wikipedia on the "long tail".

by CERN Library