v24 #3 And They Were There

by | Jul 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Reports of Meetings — SPARC 2012, IUG Annual, and the 31st Annual Charleston Conference

Column Editor: Sever Bordeianu  (Head, Print Resources Section, University Libraries, MSC05 3020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001;  Phone: 505-277-2645;  Fax: 505-277-9813)  <[email protected]>

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) 2012 Open Access Meeting — Kansas City, MO, March 11-13, 2012.

Reported by:  John Russell  (Social Sciences Librarian, University of Oregon Libraries)  <[email protected]>

The SPARC 2012 Open Access Meeting was held March 11-13 in Kansas City, MO.  The open access movement spent much of early 2012 dealing with crises such as the Research Works Act (RWA), but the meeting in March opened in the midst of a lull after the RWA was tabled in late February.  The shift away from immediate concerns allowed the meeting to consider broader, longer-term issues.

The meeting program had four main presentation areas (National & Institutional Policy Adoption, Digital Repositories, Author Rights, and Open Access Publishing), as well as a keynote by John Wilbanks (currently a Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation).  Wilbanks’ talk set out two themes that formed, for me, a leitmotif for the meeting: altmetrics and the definition of open access.

If scholars are putting their work online, that work can circulate in a number of ways:  it can be Tweeted, shared on Facebook, blogged about, and so on.  People are reading and discussing scholarship online in a number of places, Wilbanks argued, so we should move away from traditional impact metrics and look to alternative (alt-) metrics that better represent how scholarship is communicated and circulates in today’s media environments.  Later the first day, during the “Innovation Fair,” Jason Priem (doctoral student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) of total-Impact (total-impact.org or follow them on Twitter: @totalimpactdev) showed a tool he has developed (with Heather Piwowar, a DataOne postdoc with Dryad) that can capture these altmetrics for online articles or other online research objects, creating a dynamic report of how a research object is circulating in various social media.

A larger part of Wilbanks’ keynote, as well as of the talk he gave the next day on open data on behalf of Peter Murray-Rust (who couldn’t attend, but did hang out on Twitter emphasizing points and engaging those members of the audience who were also on Twitter), revolved around copyrights and true open access.  Wilbanks and Rust (and a number of other attendees) argue that true open access has to follow the definition set out in the Budapest Open Access Initiative:

“By ‘open access’ to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.  The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited” (http://www.soros.org/openaccess/read).

It’s not enough to make articles freely available; scholarship needs to be open to reuse and repurposing in order for scholarly networks to optimally function.  This is a very contentious issue.  Many scholars and publishers want open licenses to be restricted to non-commercial use (the CC-BY-NC license); additionally, publishers prefer not to allow open text-mining of their content, even if the content is open.  For Wilbanks, Murray-Rust, and others, these restrictions are not acceptable: they do not follow the BOAI definition, and they hinder the ability of scholars or other interested parties to engage in research.

Of course, these were not the only topics broached.  During her presentation on the state of open access policy implementation in the United States, Ellen Finnie Duranceau (Program Manager, MIT Libraries Office of Scholarly Publishing & Licensing) discussed the usual litany of improving services for mandate deposit (make it easy, add value) but also noted that publishers such as Elsevier, the American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science were asking authors to sign publishing agreements that required opting out of local mandates.  Duranceau noted that opt-out waivers at MIT were at 4% and at Harvard 5%.  Not enormous numbers, but as an audience member pointed out later in the meeting, if one tries a mandate at an institution where faculty overwhelmingly publish with one of the anti-mandate publishers, this would be a significant problem.

The last session of the conference was devoted to publishing. Charles Eckman (University Librarian and Dean of Library Services, Simon Fraser University) discussed the state of institutional funds for paying authors fees, noting that it is a growing trend but currently limited to 25 institutions.  For institutions thinking about setting up such funds, Eckman stressed the importance of planning, talking to all of the stakeholders, defining criteria (who can participate and in what kinds of open access journals they can publish), and developing goals.  Timothy Deliyannides (Director, Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing and Head, Information Technology, University of Pittsburgh Libraries) provided a tour of Pitt’s publishing services; particularly interesting was his frank assessment of the resources (especially human) required to support dynamic publishing services: growth requires investment in training, marketing, and other services such as graphic design.  With new publishers entering the open access market all the time, the need for quality control grows.  Caroline Sutton (President of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association [OASPA] and a Publisher at Co-Action Publishing) surveyed OASPA’s membership criteria and code of conduct.  OASPA has the potential to become a mark of quality for open access publishers, and it is an association to keep an eye on.

This survey of the SPARC 2012 Open Access Meeting left more a than a few things out.  Curious readers are encouraged to look at the program and speaker slides: http://www.arl.org/sparc/meetings/oa12/sparc-open-access-meeting-speaker-slides.shtml.


Innovative Users Group Annual Meeting (IUG)
Chicago 2012, April 15-18, 2012.

Reported by:  Wendy Pedersen  (Ibero-American Collections Specialist, University of New Mexico Libraries)
<[email protected]>

Nearly 1,200 attendees gathered at the Sheraton Towers in Chicago for the Innovative Users Group annual meeting, April 15-18.  There was not a lot of swag, but participants brought away much excellent information and the fruits of camaraderie.

IUG celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  The opening session included honors for long-time attendees.  Drawings for prizes were held every half-hour, and the “must be present to win” requirement kept all riveted to their seats for the entire two-hour opening presentations.  Prizes were also given to fastest tweeted answers to trivia questions sprinkled here & there.  And then there was cake!

Announcements:  Jerry Cline and Neil Block assure us that the existing management is still in place and “It’s business as usual.”

In development this year are a cloud-based backup service (a disaster recovery feature); a redesign of III’s CS Direct customer service site; a more interactive fiscal close feature; “relative dates” in Create Lists/Scheduler; a “Remember Me” feature for users in WebPac, and of course migrations from Millennium to Sierra, III’s latest ILS system.

III continues to refine and promote its “Reporter” service, which gathers transactional data and generates prepackaged numerical reports (including ARL stats!!).  Its new companion product, “Decision Center” is designed to support Data-driven decisions.

Hillsdale College in Michigan became Sierra’s first live customer in March 2012; 40 other sites are in Beta, involving a total of 350 library staff users.  218 server sites (that’s 838 libraries) have committed to the new system.  The staff side is intended to be a unified desktop system that will accommodate third-party gadgets.  Users no longer navigate to separate modules for cataloging, circulation, serials, & acquisitions. 100% of Millennium functionalities are to be included in Sierra, and it maintains the existing work-flow logic.  They also are “looking at eBook integration” for both Sierra and Millennium.

What everyone wants to know:

Q: How long does III plan to support Millennium?  A: “ For quite a few years to come.  Transition to Sierra will take years.”

Q: When will product lines fork?  A: There will be no more Millennium-only enhancements, but there will be Sierra-only enhancements.

Q: Is this going to require new hardware?  A: Yes. Sierra is a 2-server implementation, requiring an application server and a database server.

Q: Pricing structure?  A: Migration from Millennium to Sierra is priced as a service package; no relicensing required; what the customer currently has conveys.

Q: Packaging APIs?  A: Don’t know how they are going to be priced; as add-ons, APIs will not be free.  This is “under active discussion”; all kinds of vendors are having the same conversation.

III’s CS Direct site is hosting a number of lively online discussion forums for developers and beta users.

A sampling of session summaries includes:

“When your Item Types just don’t work anymore”Shona Koehn and Sarah Simpson of the Tulsa City County Library presented the complexities of redefining a crucial data field in the item record, implementing the change throughout the catalog, and retraining staff.  Not for the faint of heart.  Errors will abound.  Create lists, fix, repeat, repeat….Excel is your friend.  Don’t try this alone — take all the help your ILS vendor will offer.

“Statistics and reporting”Innovative trainer Joe Wojtowicz presented the now-traditional session on statistics.  The mysteries of SCAT tables revealed!  Get more granular breakdowns of transactions by call number!  Hunt down and exterminate bad fields!  III’s popular “Create Lists” functionality was the star of this show.

“Patron-driven acquisitions: what needs to be done in Millennium”Innovative’s Yu-lan Chou offered a “load” of practical advice here.  Load tables, load tables, load tables — and scripts.  Most III users are using standard or locally-customized load tables.  Books are easy-peazy compared to the questions librarians face with patron-driven acquisitions for e-books and electronic articles.  What do you do with records for temporary acquisitions — suppress, delete afterward, keep forever?  Participants in the room were equally split.  Do you do authority work for all records loaded or just for purchases?  Do you add call numbers for collection analysis?  How do you report your stats to ARL?  Practices are all over the map.

“Solving the complexities of e-Book record management in Millennium”San José State’s Rayanne Stahl gave us a down & dirty look at SJSU’s practices, where 80% of the materials budget is spent on electronic resources.  They have 100,000 eBooks in the catalog, representing 17 collections and multiple DDA (demand-driven acquisitions) plans supplied by three main vendors.  Their average eBook sees 7 uses, more than twice the rate of print.  The biggest issue: duplicate catalog records. Weekly batches of discovery records can collide with existing records.  eBook collections change titles with regularity — how do you keep the discovery records up-to-date?  Other challenges: ordering, loading, DDAs.  SJSU finds Gobi useful in keeping things sorted out.

“Create Lists, beyond the basics”Richard Jackson of the Huntington Libraries treated users to a selection of tidbits about the principles and uses of III’s Create Lists function.  Wild cards, normalization, end-use characters, advanced word search, and even “impossible” searches were demystified.  Once again, Excel is your friend.

“Consortium 101”This introduction to consortium-building was adorably presented by Tim Gritten and Kerri England as the Story of a Marriage (between the Indiana State University and Vigo County Library systems).  Don’t be afraid to insist on the “pre-nup” — i.e., the Memorandum of Understanding.  When one system is from Mars and the other from Venus, even library jargon can have incompatible dialects, so keep talking.  Good firewalls make good neighbors, but are something of an obstacle to a harmonious union.

“Google Analytics: beyond the code”Virginia Tech’s Robert Sebek offered this standing-room-only session on GA, covering everything from setting up the profile to types of decisions driven by the data.  His incredibly thorough slides are posted on the members’ conference Website and are definitely worth a look.  This is tracking as only Google (and maybe the CIA) can do.  Get your tekkies on the case.

“Macro your macros”Adam Lenarczyk’s background information on the National Library of Poland http://bn.org.pl/en/about-us/ was almost as interesting as macros themselves.  The NLP has 1,000 employees, 200 of whom use Millennium on a regular basis.  Their database includes over two million bibliographic records, and they are adding 100,000 every year.  None of these items circulate.  As the legal depository, they are the creator of the national bibliography, updated weekly.  All of their cataloging is high-priority; this is not an outfit that has the luxury of letting their backlog age!  Macros have been fine-tuned into an art form at this institution.  The only caveat: make sure your bibliographic maintenance staff slow down enough to understand what they’re doing.

As IUG reaches majority at age 21, the conference will convene in San Francisco, April 23-26, 2013, a good choice for a landmark birthday.  Be prepared for the trademark informative sessions, the progress report on Sierra, as well as other product developments that will surely be unveiled.

Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “Something’s Gotta Give!,” Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic District, Courtyard Marriott Historic District, and Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, November 2-5, 2011

Charleston Conference Reports compiled by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)  <[email protected]>

Column Editor’s Note:  Thank you to all of the Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports that highlight sessions they attended at the 2011 conference.  All attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, and notes are included in the reports to reflect known changes in the session titles or presenters that were not printed in the conference’s final program.  Please visit the Conference Website for archival information where a link to many presentations can be found on the 2011 Charleston Conference SlideShare Group Page.  Permission was received from all of the plenary speakers to post their recorded sessions online, so they are added to the Video page on the Conference Website.  The 2011 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in partnership with Purdue University Press in 2012.

In this issue of ATG you will find the third installment of 2011 conference reports.  The first two installments can be found in ATG v.24#1, February 2012 and ATG v.24#2, April 2012.  We will continue to publish all of the reports received in upcoming print issues throughout the year. — RKK

(continued from previous installment)

“Shotgun” Sessions

Reported by:  Alison M. Armstrong  (McConnell Library,
Radford University)  <[email protected]>

These short sessions were a nice format to hear a little about something that may be of interest and make you want to learn more, and if not, it will be over soon.

1.  An Absence of Allocations — Presented by Cathy Goodwin (Coastal Carolina University) — With a flat budget, they decided instead of allocating funds, they would take orders on a first come, first serve basis.  Of the 350 faculty members later surveyed, they received 66 responses.  30% were unaware, 27% didn’t order anyway, 22% liked the change, and 20% found it confusing.  Half felt they could get what they needed. They also found that many placed orders but didn’t know if it was actually ordered.  30% were not averse to continuing this way, and 46% were able to purchase the material they needed.  Going forward, they will continue with this model, and they will communicate back to faculty, letting them know what is ordered.

2.  Sacred Cow Tipping — Presented by Camila Gabaldon (Western Oregon University) — In tight economic times, we can no longer support the “just in case” model that we used to and are moving toward the “just in time” model.  It isn’t about how many books you have in your collection; it is about knowing how to find them.  Collecting based solely on immediate need leads to holes in collections.

3.  KnowledgeBase and Related Tools (KBART update) — Presented by Nettie Lagace (National Information Standards Organization (NISO)) — Legace provided us with the 5 Ws for KBART.  Who: It affects all of us.  What: Universally acceptable holdings data, format, open URL linking.  Where: NISO and USKG Websites: http://www.uksg.org/kbart). When: Now – Phase 2.  Why: Better access.

4.  Using a Systems Approach to Managing Collections — Presented by Lars Meyer and Chuck Spornick (Emory University) — Meyer and Spornick talked about the book, The Fifth Discipline, and how they used the disciplines in their library.  They worked to build a shared vision with a group committed “to improve our users access to the content they need in the format they want it.”

5.  Where is the Hospitality in Your Library? — Presented by Corey Seeman (University of Michigan) — Librarians are amazing people and helping is hardwired into their DNA.  They have the mentality that you deal with problems the best you can and work out the details later.  They started providing office supplies, and it has been very popular.  Do they provide 4-star service for 3-star expectations?  No, 5 stars and the patrons deserve it!


The Changing of Technical Services at UNC Charlotte — Presented by Michael Winecoff (UNC Charlotte)

Reported by:  Elizabeth Henry  (Saint Leo University, Cannon Memorial Library)  <[email protected]>

Winecoff, Assistant University Librarian for Library Systems at UNC Charlotte, spoke to a packed room regarding the genesis and application of various changes in the department’s processes and procedures that resulted in a significant downsizing of the Technical Services Department.  The process began with the hiring of a consultant who spent a week at Charlotte studying workflows and then produced a 100-page report with five pages of very detailed recommendations.  The major changes were: first, the implementation of electronic invoicing and payment of book orders using only one primary vendor; second, the acceptance of shelf-ready books from that vendor that would require little handling by library staff and bibliographic records for those books that were considered good enough; and third, the reduction of check-in, claiming, and binding of journal issues.  In the end, Technical Services was left with less staff and less cataloging expertise, although several staff members transferred to Special Collections, which benefitted that department.  Other staff retired, and a few left.


Weeding One STEPP At A Time — Presented by Eleanor Cook (J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University);  Dan Shouse (J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University);  Joseph Thomas
(J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University)

Reported by:  Eugenia Beh  (Texas A&M University, Sterling C. Evans Library)  <[email protected]>

Cook, Shouse, and Thomas discussed the J.Y. Joyner Library’s yearlong project to clear 30,000 square feet of library space in order to house Project STEPP (Supporting Transition and Education through Planning and Partnership), a program which supports students with pre-identified learning disabilities.  The process involved withdrawing 50,000 journals from the stacks and sending 60,000 journals to compact storage.  Most of these journals were part of archival packages; dead or incomplete runs; no longer relevant to the university’s curriculum; poorly scanned; and/or available online.  Journals that were kept in the stacks were part of print subscriptions with no online access and/or were of significance to a particular subject area.  Such large-scale weeding is symptomatic of a wider trend in academic libraries, where library space is increasingly used for services rather than for collections.  Participants were especially struck by the amount of support that the library received from the university administration, which included generous funding for three temporary staff members to assist with the weeding, as well as funding for backfile purchases (certainly very unusual in these times!).


Applications for Better Research Outcomes: Facilitating Collaboration Between Librarians, Researchers, and App Developers to Improve Research Workflows
Presented by Rafael Sidi (Elsevier)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)  <[email protected]>

This presentation probably would have also fit as well in the Saturday “Innovation Sessions” tract, particularly if one of the contest-winning app developers described, researcher or librarian, would have participated.  The overall purpose of apps is to provide a customized experience.  Sidi highlighted a Spring/Summer 2011 multi-pronged suite of challenges (“series of community competitions”) for which Elsevier provided publicity and prizes for winning apps that could move to developer communities.  The initiative, “Apps for Science Challenge” was for collaboration within the scientific community, resulting in development of apps for scientists — a research workbench, a patent mining tool, etc.  The contest, “Apps for Library Idea Challenge” resulted, for example, in an Open Source VuFinder app for use with SciVerse.  There was also a hacker “hackathon” event.  There are advantages to developing apps (40-60 percent royalty).  There are advantages in the cloud.  In 2012, it will be possible to take an application and put it in an institutional site.   Listening to the presentation and the audience questions, the enthusiasm of the presenter seemed to be met with a “why didn’t I know about this” response from a number of audience members.  (More information can be found on Elsevier’s Website).  It wasn’t clearly stated if this was a “one time only” endeavor or possibly a new tradition for Elsevier.


Skit: Patron-Driven Acquisitions Meets the Cloud —
Presented by Charleston Skit Players, Ann-Marie Breaux (YBP); Stephen Clark (William & Mary College);  Jennifer Clarke (Bucknell University);  Eleanor Cook (East Carolina University);  Todd Hallerman (Elsevier);  Chuck Hamaker (UNC-Charlotte);  Corrie Marsh (University of Southern Mississippi);  Athena Michael (John Wiley & Sons);  John
(BUSCA); Lisa Spagnolo (Univeristy of California, Davis); Susan Zappen (Skidmore College)

Reported by:  Alison M. Armstrong  (McConnell Library, Radford University)  <[email protected]>


This was a clever skit that touched on all kinds of views of PDA:  the death of MARC, going along with stupid ideas, information shepherds, de-acquisition librarians, disapproval plans.  They ask where they are going and why the students are driving the bus.  It is decided that it doesn’t matter as long as they are moving and spending money.

When they are stopped by the police, the students are found to be driving without a license and ask the librarians for help finding stuff.  It is agreed that they will take turns driving and collaborate.

They ended with “It’s Fun, Fun, Fun, ‘til Daddy takes the PDA away!”


New Initiatives in Open Research — Presented by
Lee Dirks
(Microsoft Research);  Clifford Lynch (Coalition
for Networked Information)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)  <[email protected]> 

Lynch acknowledged that there certainly are certain economic problems in the system.  Stress points are scale, speed, and an increasing disconnect between practices, norms, and how the system is operating.  Scientific work should be exposed earlier in the cycle, and we should get past the “article” and the “pdf” as entities.  A way should be found to work with data as a “computational hole” in an article.  Dirks shared specific examples of initiatives that assist with data citation, allow for authors to be visible in different media, and attempt to help disambiguate authors (the last has been discussed at previous Charleston Conferences). His last initiative example was from his own company.  The bottom line from this presentation?  The landscape is changing, and as Lynch pointed out during the Q & A session, the goal is to ease (tools like those mentioned in this session) from “demo” into the mainstream.  Dirks pointed out that a role of the library and its true value are in building relationships, providing help to find information that is hard to find.


Something’s Gotta Give: Is There a Future for the Collection Development Policy? — Presented by Matt Torrence
(University of South Florida, Tampa Library);  Audrey Powers (University of South Florida, Tampa Library);  Megan
(University of South Florida, Tampa Library).

Reported by:  Alison M. Armstrong  (McConnell Library,
Radford University)  <[email protected]>


The speakers talked about changes in our collections and how collection development policies can handle change.

They talked about how we are moving more toward “just-in-time” instead of “just-in-case.”  However, this leads to gaps in our collections.  Currency and immediacy is important to our patrons.  We need to make sure we are addressing needs specific to our users.

The new direction in collection development policies is patron-centric.  Policies are becoming more of a “living framework.”  Someone said that they write “Draft” at the top of theirs, and it is never “Final.”

Someone said, first, don’t call it “conspectus.”  Keep it simple.  Someone said that they think of it like a restaurant and there are the front-of-house things and the back-of-house things.  They need to be able to work well together.  The collection development policy helps shape the menu.

This session had a lot of information and a good amount of time for further discussion.  Their discussion questions were great to get the ball rolling, and it lead to sharing of thoughts and practices.


Partnering for Patron-Driven Acquisitions – What You Need to Know — Presented by Deb Thomas (University of Tennessee); Ashley Bailey (YBP Library Services); Molly Royse (University of Tennessee); Gail Watson (University of Tennessee)

Reported by:  Elizabeth Henry  (Saint Leo University, Cannon Memorial Library)  <[email protected]>


The presentation by Bailey of YBP, and by Royse, Thomas, and Watson of the University of Tennessee illustrated that the setup has been different from other PDA programs in that UT worked closely with YPB to implement and administer the trial.  Using profiles based on an approval slip program already in place with YBP, librarians from the University of Tennessee created a Patron-Driven Acquisition model to test the viability of a program that allows library patrons to select, use, and acquire eBooks.  They chose a relatively limited subject set to start with and loaded 5,400 records for ebrary eBooks (available from YBP) into the catalog.  They chose to implement a short-term loan option which allowed the books to be used by library patrons three times at a fraction of the purchase price.  The third use would trigger a purchase.  Various details of the processes involved for the selection of eBooks in specific subject areas, importing appropriate discovery records, and invoicing and processing of both loans and purchases were discussed.  UT plans to further develop and expand their PDA partnership with YBP and ebrary.


Promoting the ‘Virtuous Circle of Access’: JSTOR’s Local Discovery Integration Pilot — Presented by Bruce Heterick (JSTOR – ITHAKA);  Scott Anderson (Millersville University)

Reported by:  Wendy West  (SUNY Albany)  <[email protected]>


Speakers summarized the results from a pilot program conducted by JSTOR to examine research discovery that was happening at JSTOR and ways to tie back into the libraries’ other resources by bringing those resources to the users.  Heterick discussed rationale for the program, methods used to provide access to other resources, and the findings and feedback they were given, including placements of links that connect back to libraries’ resources.  Anderson explained why Millersville University was interested in participating and their expectations.  He also briefly discussed the concept behind the creation of the links, including how they could enhance the research experience and might allow libraries to maximize the usage their available resources.  The speakers closed with some discussion of the limitations of the program and further questions that were raised as a result of the findings.


The Value of Purchase E-book Collections From A Large PublisherPresented by Aaron Shrimplin (Miami University Libraries);  Jennifer Bazeley (Miami University Libraries)

Reported by:  Margaret M. Kain  (University of Alabama at Birmingham, Mervyn H. Sterne Library)  <[email protected]>


Presenters Shrimplin and Bazeley, from Miami University Libraries, provided the audience with a roadmap of their eBook analysis.  Their transition to eBooks began in 2007.  The opinions of students, faculty, and staff on eBooks were compiled and placed into four categories: booklovers, technophiles, pragmatists, and printers.  A variety of publishers and platforms were explored.  After select questions were identified (whether to have unlimited/multi-user/single user, to own or lease, to purchase as a collection or title by title), the Springer eBook collections were selected.  Springer requires no digital rights management software, provides perpetual access, the individual book chapters could be downloaded in pdf format, search results would yield both journal articles and eBooks.  After collecting data for three years, the presenters found that fewer than 40% of the titles were unused.  Through resources such as Google, users are discovering and using eBooks.  Even though some titles are not used, if the titles were purchased individually, the cost would be prohibitive.  Conclusion: several factors need to be considered when purchasing eBooks, and one should not rely on a single approach.  Their evaluation of purchasing eBooks continues as they move into a pda model.


Let Go and Haul! A Square-Rigger’s Guide to Weeding “Age of Sail” Collections in the 21st Century — Presented by Douglas Black (Northern Michigan University);  Valarie Prescott Adams (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga)

Reported by:  Kyle McCarrell  (Augusta State University)  <[email protected]>

Weed 50% of your collection.  This directive could strike fear into the hearts of many librarians.  But this was the challenge that Northern Michigan University faced.  Similarly, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was moving into a new building and needed to trim its collection before the move.  Black and Adams discussed how these universities came up with strategies to pare down their respective collections through subject liaison involvement and faculty collaboration.  In both cases, communication with users was important, evidenced through the use of dedicated wikis or Websites.  At Tennessee, circulation and ownership (based on OCLC) statistics guided much of the three-phase decision-making process.  At Northern Michigan, student workers played an active part by pulling books that had zero-use.  Once a book was reviewed, it was notated as such in the local MARC record.  Even though the library was transparent in its communication at both institutions, there was some modest pushback from faculty who disagreed with the intentions of the library process.  In one instance, a faculty member checked out books and returned them so they would have a use and “be spared.”  Despite these small problems, the initial weeding has been a success and will continue in the future.


That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue.  Watch for more reports from the 2011 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain.  Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2011 sessions are available online.  Visit the Conference Website at www.katina.info/conference. — KS



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