Adapting ACRL Transfer Criteria to Facilitate Collection Analysis of Rare or Unusual Content in the Halle Library at Eastern Michigan University An over view of the criteria, process, outcomes, and benefits/drawbacks of benchmarking titles using the ACRL transfer criteria Bob Kelly: Collection Development Librarian Eastern Michigan University
As our collections age we need to: Review titles for their historical, cultural, or monetary value. Identify early content that is uniquely associated with the history of the organization. It is within our purview of preserving and protecting content so that it is accessible to future generations. Why Review?
Personal interest in evolution of early field guides from commentaries to identification. Field Ornithology by Eliot Coues A history of North American birds - Google Books Discovered EMU had a number of guides in collection and became interested in learning extent of earliest holdings. Report of pre-1940 imprints yielded 40K titles. Catalyst:
Implementing, refining, and documenting process.
Article to be published in Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services Journal.
Literature search revealed very few articles published on topic of transfer of rare/unusual content. Guidelines from ACRL provided framework to construct, test, modify, and finalize a set of transfer benchmarks. The key take aways are: Promulgate the library's definition and management of rare and special publications. List and document the criteria for the selection of items for transfer. Set forth clear procedures to implement the transfer process. Guidelines on the Selection and Transfer of Materials from General Collections to Special Collections (3rd Edition)
Market value Age Physical and intrinsic characteristics Condition Bibliographic and research value Key elements of transfer criteria:
Premise: title to remain in current collection unless criteria warranted change Initially attempted to utilize all criteria With application became evident that only 3 were required for our setting: Market value Number of copies in Michigan Relevance to EMU (Historical/Bibliographic) EMU’s Application/Revision of criteria
No formal mission to collect/retain rare materials Space limitations in University Archives Archive’s mission focuses on EMU’s historical documents (administrative/programmatic) Working with the University Archivist, Rosina Tammany, we expanded the definition of historic documents to include collection content related to EMU and Ypsilanti’s history, enabling us to justify transferring a limited number of titles to the archives. Additional factors impacting EMU transfer criteria:
Reviewed Collections: 63 titles (6%) in circulating collection 945 titles (94%) in ARC 837 titles (83.05%) remained in their current location. 39 titles (3.87%) were transferred: .5% (5) Circulating titles transferred to ARC 3.37% (34) from ARC to Archives 132 titles (13.10%) no decision Results of benchmarking 1008 titles against finalized transfer criteria
Of the 5 circulating titles transferred to arc: 3 had 5 or fewer copies in Michigan; 1 was in poor condition; 1 title, if not rebound, would have been worth $600. 34 ARC titles transferred to Archives: Date of publication between: 1800 to 1855 Scarcity (3 or fewer copies in Michigan) Contained color plates/maps Had condition issues Analysis of transferred titles
24% of all reviewed titles had cataloging problems. 104 titles (10%) cataloged as original publications when in fact they were a reprint. 1 title published in 1711 was cataloged as reprint and was in fact an original: Q. Horatius Flaccus, ex recensione & cum notis atque emendationibus Fewer cataloging problems found for titles published after 1900. Overall Analysis: Cataloging
27 books on a typical shelf took 1 hour and 45 minutes to process: 8 minutes to request from ARC/Shelf 22 minutes to retrieve and checkout 1 hour 10 minutes to assess collection 2.5 minutes average assessment time per title Overall Analysis: Time/Effort
Once criteria established and parameters set review went much faster When OCLC showed large number of holdings not necessary to establish value. Remaining attributes for transfer to Archives fairly easy to assess: Significance to EMU Books in original binding Standardized recording of data with codes/colors Accelerating the review:
Online availability (I.E. Google Book Project) Decided to retain even if freely available online Needs further exploration Located at nearby archive (UM Bentley Historical Library Collection) Could be indicator EMU should also hold in our own archives If found at 3 or fewer primarily academic libraries in Michigan we moved into Archives UM/WSU/DPL/MSU/CMU/WMU Discussion: Assessing Holdings
Publishing dates and editions difficult to confirm Number of scores held by institutions may not be reflected in OCLC holdings Consulted UM Music Library for insight on how best to handle Music Scores
Improve accuracy of catalog holdings: 104 reproductions were cataloged as original publications. Book in hand provided opportunity to assess condition as well as compare to bibliographic record. Learning opportunity for SI interns: Real world application of theoretical concepts and librarians exposed to latest ideas. Benefits:
Identifying and evaluating the oldest content provided a means to systematically evaluate rare or unusual content hidden in the library. This is a long term process which requires the coordinated involvement among different departments (cataloging, circulation, collection development, archives). Under taking this effort resulted in updating in-accurate records, developing enhanced review procedures, and most importantly, identifying valuable titles to be moved to a secure location. Conclusion: