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The End is Here… for the Reference Collection Mark A. Vargas, Director University Libraries Saint Xavier University CARLI, October 2008

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Post on 13-Nov-2014




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  • 1. The End is Here for the Reference Collection Mark A. Vargas, Director University Libraries Saint Xavier University CARLI, October 2008
  • 2. Purpose
    • To explain why and how Saint Xavier University eliminated 95% of its print reference collection.
  • 3. Context
    • SXU is a comprehensive, private Catholic university for both men and women.
    • Two main campuses, and over sixty off-campus teaching sites.
    • Offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, and nursing.
    • 5,600 students.
  • 4. Library was Sinking Fast
    • Shelves were at 140% of capacity.
    • Collection was dated.
    • Lack of budget control.
    • At least 25% of the print budget went for reference materials and standing orders and no one knew why.
  • 5. Where We Started Services Facilities Personnel Resources Strategic Plan
  • 6. Two Approaches
    • Get the budget under control
    • Get the physical collection under control
  • 7. Librarys Budget Priorities Redefining the Hoops
  • 8. Established Collection Priorities Library Budget University Curriculum Annual Review Collection Development
  • 9. Reference Collection Policies
    • Evolved over several years. Changed in context with other collection issues.
  • 10. Collection Review
    • Collection must accurately reflect the curriculum.
    • Need to accommodate vast majority of students who never enter the library.
    • No new funding; instead, reallocate existing funds.
  • 11. No Sacred Cows
    • End the weve always done it this way approach.
    • Willing to review all aspects of collection development.
  • 12. New Primary Focus
    • Base collection development on curricular area, not format
      • Up-to-date circulating book collection.
      • Best possible array of web-based databases.
    • Low priority
      • Print reference collection.
      • Print journal collection.
  • 13. Previous Budget Model Budget Circulating Books Reference Books Databases Serials Art Business Art Business Art Business Chemistry Mathematics Nursing Chemistry Mathematics Nursing Chemistry Mathematics Nursing Art Business Chemistry Mathematics Nursing
  • 14. New Budget Model Budget Art Business Chemistry Mathematics AV Books AV Books AV Books Databases Serials Databases Serials Databases Serials AV Books Databases Serials
  • 15. Reallocation of Expenditures
  • 16. Librarys Facility Priorities Making room for more with a lot less
  • 17. Off-Site Storage Program
    • Used third-party vendor (records management firm) for storage and retrieval.
    • Eliminated political problems with weeding the collections.
  • 18. Off-Site Storage Program
    • 60% of book collection to off-site storage.
      • Any circulating items not used in the last 10 years.
    • 99% of print journals to off-site storage.
      • Any cancelled titles, and anything more than 5 years old.
    • 1 business-day delivery
  • 19. Essential Questions
    • Is the curricular need better served with an item in reference or the circulating collection?
    • Would you buy it again?
      • Could the funds be better spent on circulating books or other resources?
  • 20. Basic Early Policies Adopted
    • Electronic versions of reference materials were preferred.
    • If available electronically, hard copy taken out of reference.
    • Bibliographies taken out of reference.
    • About 30% of reference.
  • 21. Process of Elimination
    • Lists of remaining titles given to each librarian.
    • Each person reviewed the lists and made their priorities.
    • Options: keep in reference, send to stacks, send to storage, or weed.
  • 22. Process of Elimination
    • Combined reviewed master list was discussed and decisions made.
    • There were no pre-assigned targets or quotas.
  • 23. Results
    • Not every subject needs to be represented.
    • For most primary subject areas (music, for example), we retain one general, multivolume set and keep it current.
    • Almost all single volumes less than 5 years old went to the stacks; older items sent to off-site storage.
  • 24. Results
    • New titles with Almanac, Atlas, Bibliography, Encyclopedia, Index , etc. no longer automatically put in reference.
    • Reference may not have the most current materials ( Mental Measurements Yearbook ).
    • If in doubt let it circulate.
  • 25. Where the Items Went
  • 26. Outcomes
    • We can tie the reference collection directly to curricular needs.
    • We know why what we have in reference is there.
    • Released extensive funds for better use.
    • No problems with students or faculty.