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Taming print journal collections...to boldly weed where no one has weeded before

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Over the past few years, Bucknell University’s Bertrand Library has made many changes to evolve our services, physical library space, and collections in response to changing expectations and needs of …

Over the past few years, Bucknell University’s Bertrand Library has made many changes to evolve our services, physical library space, and collections in response to changing expectations and needs of our researchers. Our Collection Development team was charged with a task to develop a plan that would holistically examine our print journal collection and forecast what would be required for a single-effort de-accessioning project, aiming to weed our print journal collection by 50% or more. I will present our planning process, criteria, and grand reconceptualization for the space.

Accompanying handout: http://www.slideshare.net/NASIG/taming-print-journal-collections-handout

Presenter:
Kathryn Dalius
Serials Specialist, Bucknell University

Published in: Education
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  • 1. TAMING THE PRINT JOURNAL COLLECTION To Boldly Weed Where No One Has Weeded Before Accompanying handout: http://www.slideshare.net/NASIG/taming-print-journal-collections-handout
  • 2. Architect’s ‘Grand’ Plan… • In 2013, we worked with the architectural firm, Bohlin, Cywinski, Jackson to develop a plan to renovate our library • New uses for spaces in the library
  • 3. “The Charge” Aug 2013 Prepare a plan that would holistically examine our journal collection and forecast what would be required for a single-effort de-accessioning project aiming to weed our print journal collection by 50% or more
  • 4. This is not unique to Bucknell “By the early 2020s, it is easy to imagine the following: Print collections will have been reduced by at least half in most academic libraries. The space will be used for a combination of enhanced reader spaces and other activities.” (Lewis, David W. College and Research Libraries, v.74:2 (2013): 159- 176. From Stacks to the Web: The Transformation of Academic Library Collecting.)
  • 5. Questions that emerged… • What is the right size of our physical collection? • Where does it reside? • Would we ever leverage consortial off-site collection arrangements? • What is the state of our collection today? • Is our current rate of de-accessioning driven by our holdings or our available time to undertake collection reviews? • Are we only de-accessioning bound journals when the titles are replaced in e-format or are there other variables we should consider?
  • 6. Recommendations & Strategy In Sept 2013, a subset of the Collection Development Team was formed: • Director of Collection Development & Access Services • Director for Research Services • Arts & Humanities Librarian • Manager of Reference / Information Services • Social Sciences Librarian • Librarian for Sciences & Engineering
  • 7. Data 4,146 Print titles Number of volumes ~ 100,000 Linear feet = 18,780
  • 8. Methodology • 300 titles were selected at random for review 1. Withdraw the print holdings 2. Keep the holdings in the building 3. Move the holdings to off-site storage • Each team member received a set of 50 titles for review • Each title was reviewed by two staff members to determine if a consensus could be achieved regarding the fate of the journal • Team members also noted the time it took to evaluate each title and the time spent on the second review
  • 9. Criteria for Review • Title – and title changes • Publisher • Active or Ceased • Local Holdings – how long is our run compared to the publication history • Publication History • Extent of online access available to us • Supports for the curriculum • Primary Source • Special Features (photographs, pictures, ads, unique information, etc.) • Condition • Uniqueness • Historic value to the institution • Current subscription • Extent of indexing • Use • Language • Availability from other libraries • Type and extent of online access that could be acquired
  • 10. Findings # Titles % Decision 161 54% Withdraw 67 22% Keep in Library 66 22% Move to Storage 6 2% Require further review (consensus not reached between reviewers) 300 100% Titles Reviewed
  • 11. Other Considerations • It took an average of 15 minutes per review (30 minutes per title) • Collectively, 150 hours were spent on this review • To complete a review of this nature, in this depth, it would take about 2,073 hours or about 60 weeks • Additional staff & student time • Ongoing maintenance and shifting • Storage Costs
  • 12. Comments • Several aspects of journal publishing made this a time-consuming and confusing process • Title changes • Publishers change, as do editors and editorial boards • “…Our main focus was to keep everything that would be used by current & future students that was not available in an online format or that was particularly useful in print.” Some disciplines lend themselves to this strategy rather naturally, while others do not.
  • 13. Next Steps • Investigate purchase of backfiles • Present findings to CLIR (Library Faculty Advisory Committee) • Remote storage? • Review step – subject librarian and /or academic department • Review 1,000 titles this summer
  • 14. Questions / More Information Jennifer L. Clarke Director of Collection Development & Access Services Library & Information Technology Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA jclarke@bucknell.edu 570-570-3252 Kathryn A. Dalius Serials Specialist Library & Information Technology Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA kdalius@bucknell.edu 570-577-1663

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