ATG Book of the Week: Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection, Second Edition

by | Apr 13, 2021 | 0 comments

Title: Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection, Second Edition
Authors: Mary E. Miller and Susanne M. Ward
Softcover:: ISBN: 978-0-8389-4972-6, $64.99
Imprint: Chicago, ALA Editions, 2021

Honored with many accolades, including a starred review in Library Journal, the first edition of this book demonstrated the power and flexibility of “rightsizing,” an approach that applies a scalable, rule-based strategy to help academic libraries balance stewardship of spaces and the collection. In the five years since Ward’s first edition, the shared print infrastructure has grown in leaps and bounds, as has coordination among programs. With this revision, Miller addresses new options as well as the increasing urgency to protect at-risk titles as you reduce your physical collection. Readers will feel confident rightsizing their institution’s own collections with this book’s expert guidance on

  • the concept of rightsizing, a strategic and largely automated approach that uses continuous assessment to identify the no- and low-use materials in the collection, and its five core elements;
  • crafting a rightsizing plan, from developing withdrawal criteria and creating discard lists to managing workflow and disposing of withdrawn materials, using a project-management focus; 
  • moving toward a “facilitated collection” with a mix of local, external, and collaborative services;
  • six discussion areas for decisions on participating in a shared print program;
  • factors in choosing a collection decision support tool;
  • relationships with stakeholders;
  • how to handle print resources after your library licenses perpetual access rights to the electronic equivalent; and
  • future directions for rightsizing 

Praise for the first edition

“As a recognized leader in the area of collection management, Ward provides both strategic and practical advice for developing and implementing data-driven, rules-based projects that include print and electronic formats. The final chapter on the future of physical collections in academic libraries is especially thought provoking … Recommended reading for all academic librarians and library managers.”
— Library Journal (starred review)

“Critically important for professional librarians charged with maintaining the standards of an academic library, as well as an addition to university level Library Science curriculum supplemental reading lists.”
— Library Bookwatch

“Along with outlining the necessary background, Ward identifies each potential stakeholder’s reaction and highlights various pathways librarians must take in order to continue moving forward … Unlike other books of this kind that focus mostly on philosophy and theory, Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection provides a realistic blueprint to effectively start and finish this massive undertaking.”

“Contains the practical elements of weeding both book and journal collections … Recommended.”

“An excellent resource for any library considering a major weeding project in the near future. The figures and examples scattered throughout are perfect for libraries looking for ways to justify decisions, as well as offering firm rules that can be referred back to should others question the choices.”
— Catholic Library World


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