24:3 (2009:09) 24th Conference: Tactics Session: Creating Core Title Lists for Print Subscription Retention and Storage/Weeding

September 14, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Conference Reports, Tactics Sessions | Leave a comment

TACTICS SESSION
Creating Core Title Lists for Print Subscription Retention and Storage/Weeding

Shirley Rais, Serials & Electronic Resources Librarian, Loma Linda University
Reported by Wilhemina Cooper

Ms. Shirley Rais, serials & electronic resources librarian at Loma Linda University, presented her tactics session “Creating Core Title Lists for Print Subscription Retention and Storage/Weeding” to an interested group of colleagues.  Loma Linda University has 3,800 students, and its eight schools and programs are served by three libraries: the main Del E. Webb Memorial Library, the Jesse Medical Library, a clinical library that serves the medical center, and an unstaffed East Campus Library.  Ms. Rais’s job responsibility is to manage all aspects of serials and electronic resources.  

Ms. Rais was offered the help of a student intern in 2007, and decided on an appropriate project of consolidating their print serials’ usage statistics into one spreadsheet application.  The intern’s questions about his assignment help to further define the potential of the project.  The opportunity both to compile usage statistics and develop a useful list of core print subscriptions thus came to light and allowed Ms. Rais to move forward in articulating several important reasons for the project, as well as expected benefits of the project.  There were some in-house usage statistics, but these were widely scattered in multiple reports.  Likewise, though the necessity of a core print collection was seen as valid, several factors made developing a reliable core list especially crucial.  These factors included decreased space in the stacks, changes in user preference favoring electronic journals, the rising costs and lessening justification in maintaining both print and electronic formats, and concerns about digital and print preservation issues.

Ms Rais explained it was then decided that the results of the project would meet three major goals: to develop a core list of subscribed titles that should be kept in both print and electronic formats; to show which subscriptions could be switched to electronic access only; and to identify print titles in the stacks that should remain accessible, be moved to storage, or withdrawn from the collection.  In the end two core lists emerged:   Core List #1, the top 450 titles, derived from current and non-current titles using print-only usage statistics from 1994 to 2006; and Core List #2, the top 300 titles, derived from current subscriptions using print and online usage statistics from the year 2000 forward.

Based on the resulting core lists, many helpful indicators were immediately revealed; for instance the top 450 titles accounted for 77% of the total usage!  This type of information easily identified titles that needed to remain accessible, and also candidate titles for remote storage or withdrawal.  The top 300 also revealed similar findings.  They accounted for 76% of total usage, and allowed targeting of numerous titles to be switched to electronic-only access upon renewal.  Some non-core titles will continue to be maintained because they are considered important for research needs, they are part of special collections, are appropriate for leisure reading, and several other considerations.  Ms. Rais now has guidelines to follow, and expects the eventual savings from switching all journals except for the core collection to reach $50,000, a figure that should make university administrators very pleased.

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