CMS Committee and Interest Group Reports: 2017 Midwinter Meeting

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

Chief Collection Development Officers at Large Research Libraries Interest Group

The Chief Collection Development Officers at Large Research Libraries Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Saturday, January 21, with 62 people in attendance. Print preservation, enhancing access, and collaborative collection building continue to be important topics for members of CCDO and these constituted the bulk of the discussion.

Emily Stambaugh (Western Regional Storage Trust, WEST) and Benjamin Walker (FLorida Academic REpository (FLARE) presented on the Rosemount Group Cross-Regional Shared Print Journal Repository Collaboration. In the discussion members asked about, among other things, validation standards, shared policies, the core serials preserved, and the group’s next steps. James Simon from the Centre for Research Libraries (CRL) highlighted CRL’s Agenda for Shared Print.

Denise Hibay (New York Public Library), Jeff Carroll (Columbia University), and Elizabeth Kirk (Harvard University) presented on the ongoing work of the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium ReCAP) as it enhances access and discovery and builds shared collections. Highlights from the discussion include questions about faculty buy-in for the shared collection and the Mellon-funded project to develop middleware software information available here.

In an effort to inspire discussion and engage the audience, the second half of the meeting was a facilitated discussion about issues in collaborative collection building led by Galadriel Chilton (Ivy Plus), Daniel Dollar (Yale University), and Jeff Kosokoff (Duke University). CCDO members and members of the audience broke up into small groups to discuss the following questions:

  • What are the key challenges with…a) collaboration around collection management (existing collections/retrospective), and b) collective collection development (building collections/perspective?
  • What policies might need to be harmonized to enable stronger inter-regional and national collaborative initiatives?
  • What are the practical challenges to managing multiple layers of retention, sharing and collection development commitments in the context of collective collections?

A Google Doc has been set up for anyone who would like to read about or contribute to the discussion (

After some debate, the membership of CCDO agreed to transition away from holding two in-person meetings each year to holding one virtual meeting and one in-person meeting each year. Over the course of the next year, a subgroup of the membership will plan a virtual meeting at a time close to but not during the 2018 Midwinter Meeting.

Submitted by Caitlin Tillman

Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group

The Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on the afternoon of January 21, 2017 and discussed four topics that were suggested prior to the meeting. Beth Bernhardt from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, led two discussions about open educational resources and weeding programs, and Gabrielle Wiersma, Chair, led two discussions about selecting e-books that are available on multiple platforms and ideas for showcasing new books and books by faculty or local authors. Discussion leaders introduced each topic with a brief presentation and a lively discussion followed each topic. There were approximately 34 attendees.

How can libraries support open educational resources (OERs)?

New ideas and best practices for weeding projects:

  • Review and remove serials and multiset volumes for a big impact.
  • Reduce any unnecessary duplication of formats.
  • Review and remove superseded editions or multiple copies.
  • Develop a formula with multiple criteria to identify low-use materials. For example, books that have not circulated within a certain timeframe, items that have 0-1 checkouts but have not been used recently, or focus on books published within a given time period. Beth recommended starting with a sample and refining the criteria as needed based on what the sample returns.
  • Consider weeding materials that are easily borrowed from local consortia or nearby libraries.
  • Consider and define any exceptions to weeding criteria such as government publications, books by faculty authors, or seminal works.
  • Decrease the empty space on each shelf and shift to remove shelving or shelve more volumes per shelf.
  • To maintain collection size, calculate annual growth rate by call number range and either weed at a comparable rate or build in growth room in each section of the stacks according to average growth rates.
  • Communicate with stakeholders as needed. Beth presented the library’s weeding plan to the Provost Council, sent letters to the Deans and Department Heads, and posted project information on the library’s website. Other libraries consider weeding to be a logical extension of collection management and no longer involve faculty or campus administration. Just as an approval plan has defined criteria for aiding in the selection of materials, a deselection plan is just as essential for maintaining a relevant collection. But no one likes to see books in dumpsters, so use discretion and your best judgement when disposing of materials. Many libraries are using services such as Better World Books to donate unwanted books. Verify that you are removing or disposing of materials according to campus or institutional guidelines.

How does your library select e-books that are available on multiple platforms? Here are some of the factors in the selection process:

  • Format Availability
    • Is it available as an e-book?
    • Is it available as soon as the print?
  • Access and License Restrictions
    • Is the e-book available to only one, multiple, or unlimited concurrent users?
    • Is this title needed for course reserves?
  • Accessibility
    • Does the vendor have a current voluntary product accessibility template?
    • Does the vendor supply PDFs, EPUB, or another format?
  • Price
    • Is the e-book price comparable to print?
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM)
    • Is access or use restricted in any way?
  • How does your library showcase new books? Books by faculty or local authors?
  • Physical book displays
  • Digital book displays (e.g. Book Gallery in Digital Commons)
  • Book jacket displays
  • LibGuide or website: use an image carousel to advertise new books or books on a particular subject or theme
  • Institutional repository
  • RSS feeds
  • Library newsletter, campus announcements, customized emails

Slides from the meeting are available here. If you are interested in leading a discussion or would like to suggest a topic for the Interest Group to discuss at the 2017 Annual Conference please e-mail .

Submitted by Gabrielle Wiersma

Collection Evaluation & Assessment Interest Group

The Collection Evaluation & Assessment Interest Group met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 22, with 45 people in attendance. Two speakers shared case studies about how they used assessment data for different projects and decision-making for collection management activities in their libraries. Peter Rolla, Director, Content Acquisition & Resource Sharing, University of California, San Diego, spoke on “Stretching Our Monograph Dollars: An Assessment of eBook Acquisitions,” followed by Beth Bernhardt, Assistant Dean for Collection Management & Scholarly Communications, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, who presented on “Sustainable Weeding that Uses Usage Data: The UNCG Experience Sharing Process & Lessons Learned.” A discussion followed and several interesting questions were posed to the speakers. A significant amount of interest was noted about both the economic factors and sustainability issues associated with e-books as well as space planning and weeding methodology.

Submitted by Julia Gelfand

Collection Management and Electronic Resources Interest Group

The Collection Management and Electronic Resources Interest Group (CMERIG) held a 1-hour session at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, January 22. Chair Sunshine Carter (Electronic Resources Librarian and E-Resource Management Unit Manager, University of Minnesota Libraries) and Vice-Chair Michael Fernandez (E-Resources Librarian, American University) co-facilitated the session. The program’s theme was innovative approaches to electronic resources workflows and had 50 attendees.

The session format featured 10-minute lightning talks from four speakers, followed by a brief period for questions from the audience.

The first presentation was given by Corey S. Halaychik (Assistant Professor & Head, Acquisitions & Continuing Resources, University of Tennessee Libraries) and was titled “Master Agreements with Master Agreements.” The presentation described the University of Tennessee’s shift to utilizing master license agreements with standardized contract language. This shift was predicated by issues in the existing licensing workflow such as restrictive fiscal policies, lengthy processes, and limited outcomes. The use of master agreements allowed greater autonomy to the library and streamlined the licensing workflow. The revised workflow has been a success, leading to large reductions in contract volume and fiscal savings.

The second presentation was given by Susan Davis (Interim Head of Acquisitions, University at Buffalo) and was titled “Tactics for Tackling Title Transfers.” Among the tactics covered in the presentation were knowledgebase notifications, notes on order and holdings records, and the use of spreadsheets and checklists for workflow management. Some of the workflow implications brought on by title transfers were outlined. For example, there are budget considerations such as whether new orders or cancellations are needed. There are are also platform issues, such as downloading historical usage statistics from the previous platform and monitoring the not always seamless process of activation on the new platform.

The third presentation was given by Beth Bernhardt (Assistant Dean for Collection Management and Scholarly Communications, University of North Carolina, Greensboro) and was titled “Providing E-Textbooks for Students: Acquisitions and Workflow Issues.” Ms. Bernhardt discussed how her library utilized grant monies to purchase a small number of course required e-books (not traditional textbooks) to help reduce student costs. She discussed collaboration with the campus bookstore, workflows for selecting, acquiring, marketing, assessment, and lessons learned.

The fourth presentation was given by Xiaocan (Lucy) Wang (Emerging Technologies Librarian, Missouri Southern State University) and was titled “Massaging ERM Workflows.” Ms. Wang demonstrated how her library was able to provide more support for the entire e-resource life cycle using Intota, a cloud-based e-resource management system. Prior to adopting Intota, there was a gap in the areas of evaluation and assessment of e-resources. Capitalizing on the ERM workflows in Intota has changed the way e-resources are handled and evaluated.

Slides for all presentations are available on the CMERIG ALA Connect site here.

Submitted by Sunshine Carter

Education Committee

The Continuing Education Committee met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 22. The Committee discussed the Executive Committee's suggestions for the member survey we will be distributing in an effort to meet the educational needs of librarians interested in collections related topics. We etched out a plan for shortening the survey language, condensing the format-related questions, and encouraging public library representation as well as adding some demographic questions. We determined that the committee should meet virtually in February, request Executive Committee input in March, distribute the survey in April, and analyze responses in May.

Submitted by Janet Hulm

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 22. Beth Bernhardt, Chair, reported on the Friday, January 20, ALCTS Board meeting. Highlights were that membership is down, budget is in the black for now, there is a big push to promote both the Division’s 60th Anniversary and ALCTS Exchange, and the mentoring program has been successful.

The CMS Publications Committee reported that the government publications volume is expected out in Spring 2017. The Committee is actively seeking new editors.

ALCTS President Vicki Sipe and President-Elect Mary Beth Thompson visited with the CMS Executive committee. They asked the group to promote the ALCTS Exchange at our home institutions, and announced that 100 percent of the Board members have contributed to the personal giving campaign. They are still looking for ways to make LRTS financially viable and transition to open access, and that the 2017 annual conference in New Orleans will have a smaller footprint.

The CMS Executive Committee then discussed the CMS Review. The review has been delivered to the division committee and we are waiting on feedback. The group believes that the biggest area of improvement is related to communication and outreach to members.

The Nominating Committee reported that the process is underway. Nominating Committee Chair Andrea Wirth asked for suggestions, especially members who have not yet served on a committee. Suggestions were to reach out to current and recent interest group chairs and individuals in the new mentoring program.

The Planning Committee reported they will be gathering important committee documents in one place to help the transition to new committee chairs and members. They will be reviewing an interest group and hope to report on it at the 2017 Annual Conference.

The Midwinter Forum was not held due to low attendance by experts we were trying to engage. One suggestion was to look for local experts to speak for the Denver Midwinter Forum.

At 10:30 the CMS committee and interest group chairs joined the CMS Executive Committee for discussion and reports. The Education Committee reported that the survey to the membership will be ready soon and sent to the CMS Executive Committee to review in February. The Publications Committee reported that they will be extending their call for proposals for the research forum; they hope to get at least one more speaker.

Even though ALA Midwinter had lower attendance the interest groups reported good attendance at their sessions.

Planning Committee

The Planning Committee met during the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting on Sunday, January 22. Prior to the meeting, committee members were asked to select a CMS interest group for which they would serve as a liaison. During the meeting, the rest of the liaisons were assigned. The committee discussed the need for gathering important committee documents in one place, which would help the transition for new committee chairs and members. The committee will start using ALA Connect as an archive for this purpose. The committee also discussed the interest group renewal that was to have taken place prior to Midwinter 2017, but now will take place prior to the 2017 Annual Meeting.

Submitted by Alison Bobal