the reference collection
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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.