When Rubber Meets the Road: Rethinking Your Library Collections by Roger Schonfeld, Ithaka S+R

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Charleston Conference
Friday Morning Plenary
November 5, 2010, 10:15 AM

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When Rubber Meets the Road: Rethinking Your Library Collections by Roger Schonfeld, Ithaka S+R

  1. 1. When Rubber Meets the Road: Rethinking Your Library Collections Roger C. Schonfeld Manager of Research, Ithaka S+R Charleston Conference November 5, 2010
  2. 2. ITHAKA is a not-for-profit organization that helps the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. We pursue this mission by providing innovative services that aid in the adoption of these technologies and that create lasting impact. . Our Mission
  3. 3. • Ithaka S+R is a research and consulting service that focuses on the transformation of scholarship and teaching in an online environment, with the goal of identifying the critical issues facing our community and acting as a catalyst for change. • JSTOR is a research platform that enables discovery of, access to, and preservation of scholarly content. • Portico is a digital preservation service for e-journals, e-books, and other scholarly e-content. Our Services
  4. 4. Ithaka S + R – Research Areas and Sample Projects Sustainability of Digital Resources » Sustaining Digital Resources: An On-the-Ground View of Projects Today The Role of the Library » What to Withdraw: Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization Practices and Attitudes in Scholarly Communications » Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2009 Teaching and Learning with Technology » Unlocking the Gates: How and Why Leading Universities Are Opening Up Access to Their Courses Scholarly Publishing » University Publishing in a Digital Age
  5. 5. What Users Want Roger C. Schonfeld and Ross Housewright, Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies (April 2010) http://www.ithaka.org/ithaka-s-r/research/faculty-surveys-2000-2009/faculty-survey-2009 Faculty members from the U.S.; most disciplines but no health sciences; 3,025 completed responses, for an 8.6% response rate that is representative of the sample.
  6. 6. The print to electronic transition for current issues “If my library cancelled the current issues of a print version of a journal but continued to make them available electronically, that would be fine with me.” 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Humanities Social Sciences Sciences 2003 2006 2009 » Support for cancelling local print subscriptions in favor of online-only access has grown steadily » Although there are disciplinary differences, essentially all disciplines are moving in the same direction » Certain disciplines such as art history and Asian Studies are outliers
  7. 7. The print to electronic transition for journal backfiles “Assuming that electronic collections of journals are proven to work well and are readily accessible, I would be happy to see hard-copy collections discarded and replaced entirely by electronic collections.” 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Humanities Social Sciences Sciences 2003 2006 2009 » Note this question measures enthusiasm » Enthusiasm for replacing print collections of backfiles with electronic-only access has grown significantly » Lots of initiatives by libraries to consolidate collections.
  8. 8. Although growing steadily in perceived importance, are e-books suitable for a format transition? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Databases of academic journals E-books Percent of faculty responding “very important” to “For each item that you use, please indicate how important that item is to your research or your teaching” 2006 2009 2009 (predicting importance 5 years from now) 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Humanities Social Sciences Sciences Strong agreement with “Within the next five years, the use of e-books will be so prevalent among faculty and students that it will not be necessary to maintain library collections of hard-copy book.” 2006 2009
  9. 9. What users want For scholarly journals, user needs are moving steadily away from print versions. Faculty members’ needs are changing more slowly than those of students. Other material types may have different affordances.
  10. 10. The Library Dilemma
  11. 11. User needs for print journals are steadily migrating away from print formats. Growing institutional perception that print collections are no longer used. Push for reduction of library expenses, at least for print collections. Libraries must take a more vital role in the lives of their users than as managers of print collections. Strategic inputs
  12. 12. The tactics are more complicated than the strategy » User needs may be shifting, but in many fields they are not uniform. » Online availability is growing steadily, but many journals are not yet available online or not reliably so. And, in serving the needs of the parent institution, do we threaten shared values associated with preservation and access? But -
  13. 13. Is It a Balance? Mission alignment: Reduce print collections investment Shared values: Maintain preservation role
  14. 14. Or Can We Find Alignment? Reduce print collections investment Maintain shared values
  15. 15. One opportunity: library collaborations to ensure preservation while increasing flexibility in print journal collection management Requirements: » Achieve consensus around shared values » Select a model for a sustainable trust networks Alignment
  16. 16. Achieving Consensus on Shared Values
  17. 17. » Shared values are not always well-specified. » Visions for operationalizing shared values can differ. » Achieving consensus among librarians can be complex. » Achieving consensus with other stakeholders can seem impossible. » A research-based scientifically-driven model can help. The Consensus Challenge
  18. 18. A Variety of Approaches for Journals » UK Research Reserve: 1-3 copies in the UK » University of California shared print: 1 validated copy in the UC system. » WEST: Conditions associated with preservation will vary by digitization status and availability.
  19. 19. Ithaka S+R’s Approach » Risk-informed » Research-based » Science-driven Three steps 1. Define rationales for print preservation 2. Based on these rationales, categorize materials according to their relative preservation needs 3. Use an operations research methodology to determine the levels of print preservation required for each category
  20. 20. What to Withdraw: Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization For journals following digitization, sources of risk include: » Scanning errors » Inadequate scanning standards & practices » Inadequate digital preservation » Unreliable access Recommendation: 20 year minimum retention for “ideal scenario” Requirement: A minimum of 2 page-validated, non- circulating copies. Roger C. Schonfeld and Ross Housewright, What to Withdraw: Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization (September 2009) http://www.ithaka.org/ithaka-s-r/research/what-to-withdraw
  21. 21. Modeling Sustainable Trust Networks for Collaboration
  22. 22. System Structure Locally Governed Centrally Governed
  23. 23. System Structure Locally Governed Centrally Governed Library Special Collections National Archives Incentive-Driven Trust Networks
  24. 24. Knitting Together Regional Print Initiatives Assumptions » Existing incentives have already led some libraries to create regional print repositories for space-saving or last-copy retention » Sufficient print preservation concerns as an incentive to bind regional initiatives together Method » Information sharing and analysis re preservation activities. » What to Withdraw analysis: can my library withdraw our copy? » For other materials, regional print repositories accession additional copies to allow their members to save space. Concerns » How to pay for the information sharing and analysis? » Is print preservation an adequate incentive over time?
  25. 25. What to Withdraw: Supporting Library Decisions Ithaka S+R’s Proof of Concept Decision-Support Tool » focuses on JSTOR-digitized journal titles » based on holdings in JSTOR-affiliated print repositories » freely available online » permits libraries to assess what can be withdrawn without preservation risk We hope to develop a more mature holdings analysis system » holdings analysis for all interested print archiving entities » decision support for all digitized journals
  26. 26. Implications – for journals In the absence of central planning, libraries can withdraw print holdings as appropriate in local institutional context without threatening the shared value of their long-term preservation. In developing collections management strategies, libraries can use an accepted system-wide framework in communicating with campus stakeholders. By bringing collections management to the system level, libraries can deploy scarce collections management and preservation resources more effectively, and ultimately provide better services in support of research and learning.
  27. 27. Government Documents – GPO recently contracted with Ithaka S+R to develop new models for the Federal Depository Library Program that are practical and sustainable in a digital environment. » Please follow our progress and share your perspectives and suggestions at fdlpmodeling.net Monographs – How will libraries rethink the role of monograph collections, based on digitized versions available through Google Books and HathiTrust? » CLIR’s The Idea of Order » Cloud Library project among NYU, Recap, OCLC And – other content types
  28. 28. The issue in your conference bag features articles on Managing Our Collections in a Digital Age – » Emily Stambaugh of the University of California on WEST’s model for sharing journal collections across libraries » Frances Boyle on the UK Research Reserve for preservation of and access to journal holdings » Bob Kieft on Occidental College’s collections management initiative, which prominently features monographs » Judy Russell of the University of Florida on government documents collections and services and the ASERL initiative » Ross Housewright of Ithaka S+R on library strategic planning Finally – Against the Grain
  29. 29. When Rubber Meets the Road: Rethinking Your Library Collections Roger C. Schonfeld rcs@ithaka.org Twitter: @rschon

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