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Looking forward by looking back: Books at the end of the book

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by Darby Orcutt and Genya O'Gara

by Darby Orcutt and Genya O'Gara

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  • It is also important to note that we kept an “exceptions” spreadsheet of items that resisted mapping to a FUND. These items amounted to less than 1% of all items and the list was made available to all of the selectors. The threshold of more than 1 circ per year was selected based on the general rule of thumb that, especially for items available within our consortia, the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), borrowing through ILL up to once per year would cost less than acquiring, storing, and preserving a copy of our own.


  • 1. XXX Annual Charleston Conference
    November 2010
    Looking forward by looking back:Books at the end of the book
  • 2. Never let a good crisis go to waste!
  • 3. Background
    Diminished fiscal resources
    Rapid shift towards digital formats
    Last opportunity to capture use-data from a primarily print monographic world
  • 4. Questions
    Can historic use of print books predict e-book use?
    How might electronic availability change use patterns within different disciplines?
    How might historic use data inform decision-making with regard to new models?
  • 5. The data!
    Examined 10-year period from 1997-2007
    • Edition
    • 6. Firm order/approval order/gift
    • 7. Author
    • 8. Publish year/publisher
    • 9. Binding (cloth or paper)
    • 10. Current status (checked out, stacks, removed)
    • 11. Library (branch or main) that holds the title
    • 12. Date book added to catalog
    • 13. Unique number
    • 14. Date the item last circulated
    • 15. LC call number
    • 16. Total charges
    • 17. Price (total and unit)
    • 18. Title
    • 19. Series
  • Data issues
    • Consistency
    • 20. Database migration
    • 21. Acquisitions
    • 22. Approval plan
    • 23. Circulation total and last date circulated included -- no other dates tracked
    • 24. Human error
  • Organization
    Broken into out by LC range into subject specific spreadsheets
    Two tabs included. Tab1: all 10 years of data
    Tab2: approval items from the last 2 ½ years
  • 25. Color coding
    We color-coded the spreadsheets in the following way:
    RED denoted an item that averages more than 2 circs per year over its life in the collection.
    YELLOW denoted an item that averages more than 1 (and up to 2) circs per year over its life.
    WHITE denoted items not fitting a color category (see below).
    LIGHT BLUE denoted an item that has circulated only 1 time ever.
    DARK BLUE denoted an item that has never circulated.
  • 26. _1 _2 _3 _4 _5 _6 _7 _8 _9 _10
    Am I Hot or Not?
  • 27.
  • 28. Review Guidelines
    No one right way
    Sheer use only a starting point
    Approval plan should catch “must-haves”
  • 29. Easy! (er…sometimes)
    Many call number ranges were not obvious candidates for slip or approval and then selectors had to determine why.
    Many many other reasons?
  • 30. Funds (the money)
    Each selector determined cuts of 20% and 40% from their funds.
    Approximate money saved based on previous 2 years
    Estimate cuts from approval and firm
    Net amount “saved” subtracted from approval plan
    Balance work of selecting--not simply move wholesale to an item-by-item selection
  • 31. Estimating savings
  • 32. Management benefits
    Breadth of users
    Usefulness of approval plans
  • 33. Preliminary Results
  • 34. We were able to…
    Identify Savings!
    20% and 40% cuts
    Only had to take 20%!
    Identify Themes!
    Humanities circulation tends to rise over time
    Science and math tend to circulate more heavily initially
    OVERALL non-circulating items are likely to circulate after 5 years the collection
  • 35. Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
  • 36. Social Sciences
  • 37. Science
  • 38. Collection Circulation Status
  • 39. Purchase on demand program
    If an electronic title is opened 5 times NCSU Libraries automatically purchases it
    Catalog titles are not removed
    Some schools are dropping titles that aren’t requested or “opened” within 6 mos.
    Our study indicates that, across disciplines, this will leave users without access to needed titles, if print use is indicative of e-book use
  • 40. E-use patterns
    Can monographic use patterns predict e-use patterns?
    Not enough data yet!
    Sample data trends towards yes in some disciplines
    In QA call ranges for the subject area math, with use counted as pages viewed, high use and low use ranges line up closely with ebrary use since 2005
    In B and BJ ranges for the subject area philosophy no discernable pattern is recognizable
  • 41. Future Studies
    Comprehensive examination of use via publisher
    Use data to select efficiently
    Baseline for studies to examine change in use patterns as e-titles increase
    (Continue to) examine, across disciplines, whether or not print use predicts e-use
  • 42. Contact
    Darby Orcutt darby_orcutt@ncsu.edu
    Genya O’Gara genya_ogara@ncsu.edu