CMS Committees and Interest Groups: 2017 Annual Conference

ALCTS committees and interest groups submit reports to the ALCTS Office after each conference. Following are reports submitted by Collection Management Section (CMS) committees and interest groups.

Education Committee

The Education Committee met during the CMS all-committee meeting at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25. The committee has been working on a survey for the membership on possible collection management topics of interest for e-forums, webinars, or other programs. After receiving feedback from the Executive Committee following Midwinter, we are revising the survey and will submit it for final approval and distribution this fall.

Submitted by Erika Johnson

Planning Committee

The Planning Committee met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25. Before the start of the conference, committee liaisons were asked to contact their CMS interest groups to see if there were any issues the committee should be aware of and whether the interest group was planning any activities during the Annual Conference.

During the committee meeting, the renewal report for the Collection Management in Public Libraries Interest Group was reviewed. Committee members who were not at the meeting were able to provide their input by email before the conference. The Collection Management in Public Libraries Interest Group is a shared group with RUSA CODES. Although the renewal report was not very detailed, the committee recommended to the CMS Executive Committee that the interest group should be renewed because it is a shared interest group and it is important to support public libraries within the section. The Planning Committee also recommended to the Executive Committee that because the renewal report was not detailed, the interest group should be informally reviewed for renewal in two years.

Submitted by Alison Bobal

Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries Interest Group

The Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with approximately 85 people in attendance.

  • substantially expanding the scope and improve the quality of shared collections
  • promoting consensus on the scope, norms, and standards of print stewardship
  • forging and formalizing new partnerships to achieve greater scale
  • articulating and promoting a clear and convincing narrative for scholars and funders

CRL will test the waters of “sea change” through various means, including a member survey

Facilitated discussion on issues related to open access (OA) took up the bulk of our meeting. Karla Strieb led a discussion of article publication charges (APCs) charged by some journals in order to make articles available open access. She presented data Ohio State University Libraries’ funding, partnerships, and pay-it-forward initiatives. She discussed the results of the survey and then discussed teams’ and partners’ roles; findings (author studies, models, and conclusions); strategies (multi-payer model); today’s publisher strategy (multi-payer model); and what we can do (we don’t lead from the materials budget).

Charles Watkinson led a discussion on monograph book processing charges (BPCs). He presented data from the University of Michigan about book processing charges, open access monograph publishing initiative, thoughts about the role of libraries in this initiative, and further reading and resources. He further discussed ways that librarians can be “at the table” of open access monograph publishing.

Attendees then broke into small groups to discuss the following three questions:

  • How has your library participated in any local programs to fund APCs or BCPs? If you are not a campus library, what role do you see your organization playing in this landscape?
  • How is your library working to effect the rates of APCs or BCPs that publishers charge?
  • How do you approach moving experimental funding of an OA initiative to becoming a continuing activity for your library?

Several items of interest group business were also covered at this meeting. Notes from the group’s discussion on issues in collaborative collection building that took place at the 2017 ALA Midwinter meeting are available as a Google doc.

The interest group will host a virtual meeting shortly before or after the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. Among the topics of interest are bibliometrics, open access, and pay-it-forward models. Denise Pan, Karla Strieb, Greg Raschke, and Jennifer Roper volunteered to develop the program with Bill Baxter.

Denise Pan (University of Washington) was elected to serve as chair elect for 2017–2018 and will become chair at the close of the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Bill Baxter began his term as chair at the close of the 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago.

Submitted by Caitlin Tilman

Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group

The Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with 16 people in attendance. The meeting included three brief presentations followed by lively discussions.

First, Kevin Garewal (University of Akron) presented about “Best Practices for Budget Management and Financial Modeling of Content Budgets.” Garewal inherited a complex internal fund structure that had more than 250 internal fund codes mapped to two external funding lines (student fees and University allocation). He audited the fund structure to determine which funds were most relevant and eliminated unnecessary codes. They also cleaned up order records to ensure that material type in the order record accurately reflected the resource being purchased. Garewal analyzed three years of transactional data to identify trends and spending patterns for subscription costs. With accurately coded order records, they were able to determine the percentage of spending for each material type and forecast how those levels of spending might change over time. They will also have better indicators of when purchasing any type of material becomes unsustainable and will also improve their negotiations with vendors because they will be able to calculate and compare their overall spending and rate of inflation for each vendor or material type.

Next, Mary Radnor (Fort Hays State University) led a discussion about “Building Collections without Subject Specialists: Developing Subject Expertise and Measuring Success.” The group discussed various models for supporting collection development ranging from dedicated bibliographers whose primary focus is selecting materials to liaison librarians with collection development as one of many responsibilities. Participants recommended the following books during the discussion:

Radnor also posed questions to the group about “Collection Development Policies and Resources for Distance Learners.” Most collection development policies focus on subject or format, but not specific types of users. As such, most libraries do not have a separate policy specifically for distance learners. Some libraries, however, elect to purchase more electronic content for programs with distance learners.

Finally, Chris Palazzolo (Emory University) presented about the “Best Practices for Collecting Data: Policies, Financial Models, and Access Issues.” Palazzolo described some challenges of collecting datasets such as cost, licensing, terms of use (and reuse), preservation, hosting and discovery. He created a new collection development policy for datasets that meet the following selection criteria:

  • Dataset should be accessible to users across campus.
  • Preference will be given to larger datasets that could support multiple uses or broad applicability.
  • Dataset should be easily supported by existing software in the library.
  • Terms of use must include sharing with other researchers (that is, data should not have to be returned or destroyed after use).
  • Dataset should have adequate metadata (a codebook at a minimum).

They also updated their ordering procedures and license checklist to add specific terms and guidelines for datasets. Subject librarians field requests and gather information about the price, availability, and formats. The requests are sent with a justification of need to the e-resources group for approval. If approved, the Electronic and Continuing Resources unit negotiates the license and communicates with relevant subject liaison as needed. Emory’s Dataset Purchase Guidelines and Best Practices are publicly available on their LibGuide.

Presentation slides from this meeting of the Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group are available on ALA Connect.

Gabrielle Wiersma served as chair and moderator for the 2017 ALA Annual Conference. The incoming Chair for 2017–2018 is Jeff Sundquist (Florida Atlantic University), and Kevin Garewal (University of Akron) will be vice chair and chair elect.

Submitted by Gabrielle Wiersma

Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries Interest Group

The Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Saturday, June 24 with approximately 20 people in attendance.

Ann Roll and Lindsay O’Neill (California State University, Fullerton) shared their work as collection developer and liaison, respectively, collaborating with teaching faculty to identify affordable instructional materials. They worked with an online Master’s program in Instructional Design & Technology to identify no-cost course materials. Initial expectation of faculty was that the library would just buy e-books, but in practice it’s not that simple. In 2016 the CSU system provided grant money to identify Affordable Learning Solutions Ambassadors. Roll and O’Neill discovered that the more specialized a program is, the less free instructional materials are available online. However, faculty were delighted to find e-books already available in the library’s collection. But having content in subscription packages raised its own challenges: people getting kicked out because of limited usage numbers, disappearing content, technical challenges. Communicating those limitations to faculty and students posed a challenge. As a result of participating in the ambassadors program, they saved $3800 for one student cohort and $7000 in total. The grant gave them a chance to work out kinks with this small program before scaling it up. It is time intensive to investigate and adopt each title. Furthermore, it takes a lot of education for teaching faculty to understand the difference between open textbooks and textbooks that are “free” because the library bought them, which is important for copyright reasons. They also had to develop new fail-safe processes for subscription package titles, a workflow that requires the collaboration of electronic resources, cataloging, acquisitions, and liaison units.

Valerie Forrestal (College of Staten Island) presented insights about reviewing and weeding STEM materials. She is the liaison for Computer Science, Physics, Engineering, and Environmental Science. When she started, no one had been doing collection maintenance for the sciences, so they had a very outdated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) collection. Staten Island was a community college before joining the City University of New York system, but now has its first PhD program. Forrestal began by using Choice, specifically seeking “outstanding” or “essential” titles. She also browsed Amazon bestsellers and highest rated under specific topics using their taxonomies (not keyword searching) but still struggled to find books that students at her institution actually wanted; she didn’t want to just buy books to spend her budget. She talked with student computer help desk staff, who asked for certification and test preparation books. She also contacted faculty to identify topics students were writing about. To develop a solid base collection, she identified the most popular science authors to make sure the library had their books. By finding those authors’ Twitter accounts and science hashtags, she was able to see what books they were talking about. In order to monitor these many sources of inspiration for collection development, Forrestal created a personal collection development spreadsheet. During this process she discovered that while Springer has a lot of science books as PDFs, Knovel has more interactive books. She has faced institutional pressure to buy highly academic books, but Forrestal recommends making the emphasis of collection development on what students actually want and need. Forrestal’s STEM collection development spreadsheet can be found at

Submitted by Jessica Schomberg

Collection Evaluation and Assessment Interest Group

The Collection Evaluation and Assessment Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25 with approximately 55 people in attendance. Co-sponsored with the LLAMA Assessment Section Resources Committee and Assessment Community of Practice, the program consisted of four presentations on decision-making, purchasing power, and the impact of libraries in collection assessment. In the spirit of collaboration this program addressed collection assessment techniques and models in both academic and public library environments. As successful as the program was, it still required numerous calls for proposals to receive sufficient high-quality submissions.

Submitted by Julia Gelfand

Collection Management and Electronic Resources Interest Group

The Collection Management and Electronic Resources Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 25 with approximately 45 people in attendance. Chair Sunshine Carter (University of Minnesota Libraries) and vice chair and chair elect Michael Fernandez (American University Library) co-facilitated the session. The program’s theme was e-resource preservation strategies.

The session format featured interest group business items, three fifteen-minute presentations from three speakers, followed by a brief period for questions from the audience. For 2017–2018 Michael Fernandez will serve as chair, and Shannon Tharp (University of Wyoming Libraries) will serve as vice chair and chair elect.

Sunshine Carter delivered the first presentation, “The Band-Aid Approach: Providing Access to Locally Hosted Perpetual Access.” The presentation described the University of Minnesota’s pilot project to provide both discovery and access for acquired materials (such as datasets, PDFs, and post-cancellation access). In particular, Carter described a process in which she used Google Docs to store post-cancellation material, Alma portfolios, and an agreement by interlibrary loan to deliver the materials to users.

Susan J. Wishnetsky (Northwestern University) delivered the second presentation, “Internet Archive: Ideas for Proactive and Patron-Friendly Use.” This presentation discussed the history of the Internet Archive (IA), how to find archived webpages, and how to request that a webpage be crawled by IA. Of most relevance to the theme of e-resource preservation was an example of how to link a library record to the archived version of a ceased online title. Wishnetsky discussed how she found a ceased title previously published by her own institution, how she was able to find the ceased journal’s website, and her process for validating the availability of full-text.

Christina Geuther (Kansas State University) delivered the third presentation, “Workarounds for Post-Cancellation Access Rights and Records in Electronic Resource Management Tools.” Geuther discussed how her library handles post-cancellation access rights. A collaborative group composed of metadata and acquisitions staff answered the following questions: how to indicate perpetual access in Alma, how users would find cancelled (but accessible) materials, how to address mergers and acquisitions and their potential impact on post-cancellation access, and how to address license language discrepancies from older licenses.

Presentation slides from this meeting of the Collection Management and Electronic Resources Interest Group are available on ALA Connect.

Submitted by Sunshine Carter