NYAM print preservation conference

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Keynote presentation at conference on cooperative management of legacy print in medical libraries. Organized by the New York Academy of Medicine

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  • This is a model we have used to frame some discussions about library collections and operations in the past. The horizontal axis is a measure of the stewardship or curation efforts that have traditionally been needed to manage these materials in libraries. The vertical axis is a measure of how widely held the materials are in the library system: at the top are resources that are abundant in the library community, at the bottom are materials that relatively rare.In the upper left quadrant are the materials that libraries traditionally purchased and increasingly are leasing. Below that are special collections, rare books and manuscripts. The bottom right includes research outputs and teaching materials. The upper right includes a wide variety of resources found on the Open Web – web sites, discussion lists, blogs etc.Libraries may be interested in all of these areas, but not equally. Traditionally, library acquisitions and operations have focused on the upper left quadrant: published materials in print. Licensed resources were a secondary focus. And, except in major research libraries, there was limited attention to managing rare books and manuscripts, instructional course materials, or Web archiving.
  • Increasingly, we have seen this attention shift to licensed electronic materials, which are now more ubiquitous and also require less local management effort. At the same time, we have seen an intensification of interest in the curation of locally created research and teaching materials. There are a number of reasons for this, motivated by the need to manage institutional reputation, to increase faculty and student productivity, and improve operational efficiency.
  • ~65 ARL HSL~113 ARL university librariesTotal $ is less impt here than proportion – in fact, the smaller sum available at HSL makes the pressure of e-resource spending on print resources even more acute.Compared to univ libraries, medical libraries are also adding fewer volumes to their collections annually (~1% compared to 2% in ARL univs) ARL HSL median values of 240,955 volumes held and 2,598 gross volumes added [~1%]
  • My colleague Ed O’Neill recently completed a major study of aggregate holdings and circulation for the OhioLINKconsortuim, which found surprisingly high rates of duplication in holdings within an academic consortium with decades of work in cooperative collection development.
  • Average circulation rate for medical books in the OhioLINK collection = .19But as this chart indicates, circulation is highly variable across different medical subject areas – books on nursing and psychiatry circulate more than other medical books. But in other areas, like toxicology, dermatology, ophthalmology, circulation rates are significantly lower.For OhioLINK as a whole, estimate that avg book circulates once every 8 years.
  • “Intrinsic value” of legacyprint collections is not universally accepted.
  • Is the capacity of individual members to serve as resource libraries changing as library space pressures increases and purchasing power decrease?MAR goal “Address issues of resource sharing in light of retention/storage, electronic issues, and shrinking spacefor Resource Libraries.”http://nnlm.gov/mar/about/pdf/marstrategicplan.pdf
  • http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/03/16/libraries_collaborate_to_better_use_their_print_collections
  • NB this includes monographic as well as serial (and other) holdings.Cf. NYC DOHMH discarding large runs of 34 medical journals in the next 3 wks, presumably in preparation for library relocation to Queens.NN/LM MAR as a whole =779 libraries (down from 808 in 2009)
  • Naomi asked that I not dwell on digitization efforts within the medical library community, like the Medical Heritage Library in which some of you are involved, but instead focus on ‘big picture’ issues that affect the library system as a whole. HathiTrust collection at beginning of March 2011: 4,622,457 titlesSo titles in medicine represent a very small part of the whole. And yet, this is almost 4X the projected size of the Medical Heritage Library.
  • A collective collection that lacks any coordinated management infrastructure
  • Lowest (21%) is Queen’s Public LibraryHighest (51%) is Weill Cornell Medical LibraryThese figures are higher than I would have estimated, given that HathiTrust has not
  • This is where the rubber meets the road. I mentioned that there has been increased attention to the long-term costs of acquiring and retaining low-use print materials. This is especially true for retrospective print collections that have been digitized. A recent study suggests that it costs about $4.25 per volume per year to store a book on campus, and less than a third as much to manage it off-site. The library is not accountable for these costs – they are not charged to the library budget – but is in some sense responsible for them.
  • Library value in hospital settingClearly print is not a top priority – neither are monographs
  • http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?seq=8&view=image&size=75&id=umn.31951d012533117&u=1&num=65
  • Can have critically important role in helping to institutional a new set of behaviors(Is redistricting of NN/LM Regions a possible outcome of regional print preservation assessment?)
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