Rightsizing the academic library collection

For Immediate Release
Thu, 12/11/2014


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association



CHICAGO — Is your institution’s library bursting at the seams with books that have not been touched for decades, microfilm that nobody uses and print journals that have been superseded by electronic access? Have you wondered how best to identify what physical material to retain and what to withdraw to maintain an inviting collection of relevant material for your users? Then it’s time to rightsize! In “Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection,” published by ALA Editions, Suzanne M. Ward identifies the challenges and proposes solutions to shaping physical collections for today’s academic library. Filled with sage advice and ready-to-implement guidance, this book:

  • introduces 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;
  • walks you through crafting a rightsizing plan, from developing withdrawal criteria and creating discard lists to managing workflow and disposing of withdrawn materials;
  • shows how to identify stakeholders, plus strategies for winning them over;
  • offers tips for working with consortial partners on collaborative print retention projects;
  • discusses how growing electronic collections can enhance legacy print collections;
  • advises what to do with print journals after your library licenses perpetual access rights to the electronic equivalent;
  • looks ahead to the future of physical collections in academic libraries.

Ward is head, collection management, at Purdue University Libraries in West Lafayette, Indiana. She has written and spoken extensively on patron-driven acquisitions, publishing “A Guide to Implementing and Managing Patron-Driven Acquisitions” for the Association for Library Collections & Technical Service (ALCTS) in 2012 and making presentations on this topic both nationally and internationally. Her current research interests include print retention issues and the use of e-books in academic libraries.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.