Midwinter CMS Interest Group Reports

These reports are summaries of ALCTS interest group activities up to and during the 2012 ALA Annual Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, Texas, held January 19–23, 2012.

ALCTS Division | Acquisitions (AS) | Cataloging & Metadata Management (CaMMS) | Collection Management (CMS) | Continuing Resources (CRS) | Preservation & Reformatting (PARS)

Collection Management Section Interest Group Reports

Administration of Collection Development Interest Group

A town-hall style meeting was conducted where participants were asked what kind of programming they’d like to see be developed by this Interest Group in the future. After a lively discussion, the group decided they’d like to focus on how libraries can redistribute staff duties to respond to the changing environment. They would like the Interest Group to be modeled after a Charleston-type meeting where there are 2-3 brief presentations and then 30 minutes for discussion in small groups.

Collection Evaluation & Assessment Interest Group

This interest group met for the first time at the Midwinter conference. After welcoming attendees and soliciting volunteers for the position of chair and vice-chair Chair Sinha introduced the speakers whose presentations had the common theme of using objective criteria and data to evaluate library collections.

Chan Li from the California Digital Library (CDL) presented an overview of a new value-based strategy used by the CDL for the UC Libraries which uses objective metrics to compare the value of scholarly journals, establish price containment targets, and identify titles being considered for potential cancellation. Li described in detail how a Weighted Value Algorithm developed at the CDL is being used to assess multiple vectors of value for each journal title under review.

Ruth Fischer of Sustainable Collection Services (SCS) described how and why SCS was established and the rationale behind using a profiling and data to help libraries plan and implement deselection and/or shifting projects for collections of print monographs when faced with space limitations. Presenting with Fischer, Doug Way from Grand Valley State University detailed how the tools and data provided by SCS were utlized to identify and deselect a significant number of books housed in offsite storage prior to the opening of a new library at the university.

Following the presentations, there was an interesting Q&A session and discussion about journal evaluation and weeding of book collections in which audience members and the speakers shared their experiences. For those not able to attend the meeting, Chair Sinha will work with ALCTS to post or link to the speakers’ presentations.

Collection Management and Electronic Resources Interest Group

The attendees agreed to organize a moderated discussion session during ALA Annual on the workflow and staffing in the increasingly electronic collection development. Other discussion topics that were considered were assessment, cooperative collection, new models of collection development, ERM systems, and sharing practical knowledge on collection development with focus on electronic resources. The IG will work, using e-mail and ALA Connect, to select speakers who will deliver short presentations and then moderate the discussion about workflow and staffing.

Steven Sowell, Head of Collections & Resource Sharing Department at Oregon State University, volunteered to serve as co-chair and will take over after Annual.

The discussion of the group’s identity and marketing will resume by e-mail and on the group’s ALA Connect page.

Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries IG

The ALCTS Collection Development Librarians of Academic Libraries Interest Group met on Saturday, January 21. The main theme of our discussion was “Transforming Collections.” We invited a representative from ALCTS’ Transforming Collections Task Force to join us. The Task Force is charged with looking into this issue as part of ALA’s focus on Transforming Libraries. Christopher Cronin, our guest, shared some of the Task Force’s initial findings and recommendations. After offering him some feedback, we segued into a wider discussion about how collection development is transforming, including discussions about the changing role of bibliographers, the impact of new purchasing models such as PDA and formats such as e-books and streaming video, and the impact of e-Science and the digital humanities on collections development.

The group also planned our ALA Annual meeting in Anaheim. We decided to make collection assessment our theme, focusing on how collection assessment is changing in light of transforming collections.

A call for nominations for Chair-Elect was successful. Cara List, Art and Architecture Librarian, University of Oregon, is our Chair-elect for 2012-13.

Collection Development Issues for the Practitioner Interest Group

In the absence of a designated chair for this group, Christine Dulaney, American University Law Library, of the CMS Planning Committee led the discussion. Topics discussed included: embedded librarians, how to effectively work with faculty, weeding and the difficulty of getting faculty to participate, collecting data sets, reference collection weeding, moving print to storage, user impatience to get information, and how critical discovery tools are to user success. Two volunteers stepped forward to lead the group in the future, providing a hopeful sign that the IG will continue.

Collection Management for Public Libraries Interest Group

CollectionHQ - Baker and Taylor (B&T) is interested in making collectionHQ what you want it to be, if it is currently lacking anything that you want. Scott McDermott is directing the section, although the company will remain intact in Glasgow. Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) is going to look into it further. Boston Public Library (BPL) and King County [Washington] Library System (KCLS) are embarking on the second year. There were some glitches with the call numbers and classifications of materials in the data sets. Vocabulary within the ILS was also a factor. BPL had done a relatively recent inventory. San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) has their third dataset in and has a librarian in the IT department who is a contact to work on the records and work with collectionHQ to get it all in order. SFPL buys from sixty to eighty languages, and there was a complication with separating English.

Discussion Notes

KCLS had an ILS migration immediately before implementing collectionHQ, so that created some issues and jumped over some other issues.

NYPL has implemented the Selection Module already, and Queens has implemented Maintenance.

Some discussion of how to make it all work quickly and efficiently. How much time does it take, with the setup and so on? It’s totally worth it, the cleanup is stuff that needs to be done, often stuff that you have been putting off. It makes ongoing maintenance great. It’s only as good as the information you’re putting into it.

Transfers are better for collections that aren’t floated, or don’t move that much. Doing some database cleanup going in is a good idea. Purging missing items, for example. Whatever you do in advance, collectionHQ will allow other things in need of attention to become evident.

BPL did their buying plan on collectionHQ (after two years of creating it manually) and was able to ‘prove’ to their executives they were doing what they were charged to do with their collections in their communities. They discovered they were on the mark with their plans, and the best practices they developed were effective.

Folks using Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (III) and running reports know how difficult that can be. Community library staff are thrilled to be working with a tool so intuitive and easy to use. It facilitates branch staff doing their own collection maintenance.


Penguin’s newest gambit: not offering audiobooks or e-books. Brilliance Audio is not offering downloadable audiobooks. ALA will be meeting with Simon & Schuster and Macmillan at the end of the month in New York to discuss. In addition, Digital Book World is going on Jan 23-25, so listen there too.

Steve Potash is going to NY to talk to publishers about their WIN initiative, in which patrons may click through and buy e-books. This would only work for items that are available for the library market, so maybe that will be a promotional point for publishers to make things available, in hopes of promoting purchasing.

NYPL, BPL, and KCLS are signing on to this, which will be a selling point (no pun intended) for OverDrive. There are legal issues that surround being an agent for a profit entity.

Nonfiction e-Books

LAPL has 3,500 downloads a week in Freegal. They hope that after a year it will cost them less than $1 a download. LAPL and LACL formed a mini consortium to make it financially possible.

There was some discussion of holds management in OverDrive. Berkeley PL just launched OverDrive in October. She indicated she had talked to Baker & Taylor about pricing adjustments, and addressing holds. For example, after a certain number of copies are purchased, B&T would fill all the holds beyond that, so the demand is met, and the library is not left with excess copies after demand wanes.

Houston PL is going to use a grant to do a federated search on the Internet Archive and the catalog and e-books. They should have a test site in a month or so. LAPL has gateways to electronic resources that allow the curation of content, databases and e-books and such. There is a Colorado project that is hosting their own e-book content, Douglas County.

Database Use Statistics

Some libraries are using searches, some are using downloads, some are using hits. There is an organization called The Counter that works to define database statistics across the board. It counts full text retrievals. A search is what the patron considers potential.

Is anyone still using a federated search? Some are, but not many.

It’s hard to count uses, when usage is often in sessions, where patrons go in and stay a while, such as Career Cruising or Mango Languages or Tutor.com.

KCLS cut its database budget in half in 2012 and it wasn’t as hard as it sounds. They considered price per use and overall coverage/duplication in a collection that was built by opportunity more than plan. Cleaning up things and comparing what was left and considering future use in concert with mission and service model were the driving factors.

There is some complicated cooperation going on between the three library systems in New York City. There wasn’t a lot of overlap between their database collections. BPL has gone from $1.8m to about $900k over the past three years.

Discussion of cost efficiencies in processing followed.