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What we know...

More study space, more technology, and lots more power outlets are needed in the library. In addition, because the library provides hundreds of databases and other e-resources, the print collections are not as heavily used as they once were.

What we did...

We completed our Collection Analysis Project that examined how the physical collections were being used. By reviewing current collection usage patterns, we were able to shrink the footprint of the collection to create additional study spaces.

What is the Collection Analysis Project (CAP)?

The Collection Management Department coordinated a three-year analysis of library collection usage that was completed in 2017. ¬†Collection Management staff created reports combining circulation, bibliographic, item, and holdings data, to tell the story of an item: when did we add it to our collection? Has it ever circulated? Is it in an outmoded format, like VHS?  Was it once popular, but no longer?   Librarians applied their subject expertise to these titles, identifying those that merited retention, while flagging those titles that need not be kept.  In the end, roughly one-fifth of our collection could be removed, for a variety of reasons:

  • 16% of books in the general collection were removed, because they had never circulated since the library opened.¬† (Though many titles that have not yet circulated were retained, because they are still of potential value to researchers.)
  • Nearly 75% of our microfilm and print journal collections were removed, because we have access to them online.
  • Over half of our print reference collection was removed because we have access to it online.¬† We also moved over 2,000 reference books into the general collection, to expand access to these titles.
  • In another area, we eliminated most of the VHS collection, given that the format is no longer supported and 82% of the collection has been unused for the past 5 years.

Titles that were not retained were sent to a remote storage facility or to a company called Better World Books.

For more information please contact Library Dean Kathy Miller

What did we do with that space?

By fall 2017 at least 75% of the collections stored in Library West were moved elsewhere. Our new furniture increased seating capacity in the library by 318 seats (37%). This refreshed, updated area offers a variety of group and private seating, whiteboards and study spaces, all tech-ready with research help close at hand.