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Considering the Value of Usage Data for Better Collection Strategies. Forrest Link Yuji Tosaka Cathy Weng . VALE Annual Users’ Conference January 4, 2013 Rutgers University. Presenters. Forrest Link Acquisitions Librarian The College of New Jersey Yuji Tosaka

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considering the value of usage data for better collection strategies

Considering the Value of Usage Data for Better Collection Strategies

  • Forrest Link
  • Yuji Tosaka
  • Cathy Weng

VALE Annual Users’ Conference

January 4, 2013

Rutgers University

presenters
Presenters

Forrest Link

Acquisitions Librarian

The College of New Jersey

Yuji Tosaka

Cataloging/Metadata Librarian

The College of New Jersey

Cathy Weng

Head of Cataloging

The College of New Jersey

presentation summary
Presentation Summary
  • Report of a library usage study
  • Examined recent library purchases and circulated and ILL titles
  • To find out if and how library purchases met user needs
  • A look at the kinds of data that can be generated and some ways of interpreting that data.
  • Study findings may help reshape local practice of collection development
how the story begins
How the Story Begins
  • Charleston Conference 2011
    • RichardEntlich of Cornell presents on the capture and use of ILS data
  • June 2012
    • TCNJ Library forms new committee to develop and implement collection development policy
  • July 2012
    • TCNJ Library hires a new librarian for Access Services and ILL
the college of new jersey
The College of New Jersey
  • The College
    • Public, primarily undergraduate with graduate programs in nursing and education
    • Approximately 6,100 undergraduates, 650 graduate students, 350 full time faculty
  • The Library
    • Holds over 600,000 volumes
    • Acquires approximately 4,100 books annually
    • Borrows approximately 1,400 unique books annually through ILL
    • Circulates approximately 15,000 unique titles annually

*Images taken from TCNJ website, May 3, 2011.

library collection development
Library Collection Development
  • To develop a quality collection in support of community’s academic needs
    • Budgeting
    • Selection (including withdrawal)
    • Collection evaluation
    • Policy formation (*)

* About Collection Development at Cornell University (http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/cddescript1.html) accessed Dec. 26, 2012.

rethinking collection development
Rethinking Collection Development
  • Long-standing “just in case” approach
  • “80/20 statistics”
  • “Overselection” vs. “Underselection”
  • Emphasis shifted to demand-based funding and selection
  • Towards effective collection development
effective collection development
Effective Collection Development
  • To ensure a “return on investment”
  • Measured by collection use
  • Aim to avoid Type I and II errors
    • Type II errors: titles acquired but not used
    • Type I errors: titles used but not acquired
  • Can be measured using circulation data and interlibrary loan data (ILL)
measuring collection use
Measuring Collection Use
  • Circulation statistics
    • Titles that library acquired and used
    • Can identify needs in various subject areas
    • Can identify user groups (student or faculty)
  • ILL titles
    • Reflect user needs that the library doesn’t own
    • Can identify user groups
study questions
Study Questions
  • What do ILL book requests and circulation data tell us about our collection use and patron needs?
  • How can data analysis inform our collection development practices to better serve our patrons?
beginning assumptions
Beginning Assumptions
  • Effective collection development can be measured by collection use
  • Collection use = meeting user needs
  • User needs represented by titles
    • owned and circulated
    • not owned but borrowed via ILL
data collection
Data Collection
  • Data extracted for the study period (July 2008-June 2012)
    • List of books purchased during the study period
    • Circulation data for titles purchased for the General Collection
    • ILL data for books borrowed
data sources
Data Sources
  • Acquisitions data
    • Voyager data for the past four FY periods (July 2008 — June 2012)
    • Recent publications with 2007 imprints or later used to analyze circulation and ILL data
imprint dates for new acquisitions fy 2008 2011
Imprint Dates for New AcquisitionsFY 2008—2011

Cut-off date

Note: Percents do not add up to 100% due to the exclusion of titles published outside the imprint dates above.

data sources1
Data Sources
  • Circulation data
    • Voyager data for the past four FY periods (July 2008 — December 2012)
    • General Collections (circulating)
data sources2
Data Sources
  • ILL data
    • OCLC User Statistics for the past four FY periods (July 2008 – June 2012)
data scope
Data Scope
  • Included all faculty, graduate student and undergraduate transactions for books circulated and borrowed via ILL having imprint dates of 2007 onward
  • Eliminated LC classes A, C, S, U, V because of very low acquisition rate
    • End result represented 82% of purchased books and 30% of books borrowed on ILL
measures
Measures
  • Total user needs in a library
    • Circulation of local library materials
    • ILL requests for library materials that are not locally available
  • Focus on recent acquisitions
testing the assumptions
Testing the Assumptions
  • What are we buying?
  • What are we circulating?
  • What are we borrowing on ILL?
  • How well have we done in collection building to meet user needs?
another way of looking at the data
Another Way of Looking at the Data
  • If Lending = User needs met and
  • Lending = Circulation + ILL
  • Then (ILL / (Circulation + ILL)) = the part of lending that is ILL or the portion of user needs not met by our collection
some rethinking
Some Rethinking
  • Maybe we’re looking at this incorrectly
  • Maybe all borrowing (via ILL or our acquired collection) is not equal, not all “need”
  • Maybe we’re looking at “The Long Tail”
a brief digression
A Brief Digression
  • The Long Tail
caution in using ill data
Caution in using ILL Data
  • Purpose of ILL service
    • To meet academic needs (e.g., multidisciplinary titles)
    • To meet user needs of general interest outside curriculum scope
    • For recreational purposes
  • Take above factors into consideration when considering user-initiated acquisitions
early conclusions
Early Conclusions
  • We have made some inaccurate assumptions
    • all need is not equal
    • The question is not “What should we buy?” but “Should we buy?”
    • We cannot judge the usefulness of a book without expert mediation
    • Findings can shed light on effectiveness of collection development practices
post study questions
Post Study Questions
  • What constitutes a good academic collection?
  • Should ILL requests continue be seen as needs in the long tail or are we looking at the cutting edge?
  • If ILL needs represent more than just long tail, should the library re-examine our collection development policy?
slide46

Thank You!

Questions?

  • Forrest Link, linkf@tcnj.edu
  • Yuji Tosaka, tosaka@tcnj.edu
  • Cathy Weng, weng@tcnj.edu