Category Archives: Collection Development

Academic libraries are shrinking, while content is growing. How did we get here?

 

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In this week’s opinion piece, Michael Zeoli (of YBP Library Services) takes a close look at how collection development practices have evolved in academic libraries in recent years, especially since the advent of the ebook and proliferation of digital content. Regardless of how familiar book professionals are with complex purchasing models in academic settings, it is important that we understand how we ‘got here’ before we can understand how best to move forward. We also must acknowledge that we all willingly participated in the creation of complex business models for buying and managing content. We must now all participate in simplifying them. The reality is, as Michael explains, that the academic library book world is shrinking, even as more content is created and new technologies are implemented. This raises serious questions about the future of the academic library and the roles we all play in shaping it. Perhaps the most important sentence in the piece is: “All parts of our ecosystem have an active role to play; none should act out of fear and remain passive.” Full article below. —Ed.


Academic library staff has been shrinking for 2 decades, while the quantity of scholarly content has grown exponentially.  In the 1960s Richard Abel & Company began the Approval Plan service as a systematic approach to help libraries manage the volume of new books published.  Libraries rely on vendor services (i.e., companies catering to libraries) to discover and acquire much of scholarly content.  Since the 90s, libraries have also depended on vendors to provide shelf-ready services for print books, customized cataloging, to manage financial transactions electronically, and to maintain online interfaces to support collection development and acquisitions processes.  Ebooks brought another layer of labor and complexity to library workflows.

Ebooks elbowing their way into the landscape

Within a decade of their birth, ebook aggregators entered mainstream library collecting.  Initially, the ebook appeared as just another format or manifestation of the print book; the library choice expanded beyond paper or cloth to include ‘e’ versions (in many cases PDFs).  Technology changed this: ebook models have upset the balance in traditional library collecting and continue to challenge traditional understandings not just of collection development, but of the role of the academic library.

The ebook aggregators’ business models exist outside the realm of print books – except as a distribution model on which to piggyback for just as long as necessary (think ‘the scorpion and frog’ fable).  The business of the aggregator is to sell ebooks, not books.  Aggregator ebook platforms are designed for this purpose.  Each is different from the others in design (technical as well as strategic):

  • User interface & experience
  • Library acquisition models
  • Library control of patron access
  • Publisher control over: 1) Library acquisition models; 2) License terms for each model; and 3)  ‘Triggers’ to purchase and loan (Patron-Driven Acquisitions – DDA / Short-Term Loan – STL / Evidence-Based Acquisitions – EBA)

‘Standards’ in the industry exist only to the degree necessary for one company to compete with another (‘not-for-profits’ are not exempted!).  Focus has been split 3 ways:

  • Competition to win market-share
  • Sustainable development of the market
  • Alternatives to ‘unsustainable models’

To a large extent, the futures of libraries and publishers live at the margins of these considerations.

Competition is driving complexity.  Beyond complexity, competition does not always favor clarity or transparency, even when possible.  Libraries and publishers struggle to gain full vision into some of the forces acting under the surface of a rapidly evolving landscape. Continue reading Academic libraries are shrinking, while content is growing. How did we get here?

Baker & Taylor and collectionHQ extend evidence-based selection planning

– New offering follows success of pilot program

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 25, 2015 – Baker & Taylor, the premier worldwide distributor of digital and print books and entertainment products, announced that its Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) service, which is supported by collectionHQ’s data analytics platform, will be made available for all U.S. public libraries following a successful pilot program.

ESP brings the art of Baker & Taylor’s collection development expertise together with the science of collectionHQ’s data analytics, to create a decision support system integrated with Title Source 360, to equip libraries with the information to select the right titles and quantities, for the right locations. Continue reading Baker & Taylor and collectionHQ extend evidence-based selection planning

EBSCO creates 27 new eBook subject sets

IPSWICH, Mass. — February 17, 2015 — EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) continues to enhance its collection of eBook titles by releasing 27 new EBSCO eBooks™ Subject Sets. These sets provide libraries with convenient ways to begin or expand their eBook collections with current, reputable content from leading publishers.

EBSCO eBook Subject Sets are convenient, prepackaged sets of titles chosen to meet libraries’ needs for new content on popular, in-demand topics. EBSCO’s Collection Development Team of librarians uses tailored knowledge to create these Subject Sets for libraries. All Subject Sets from EBSCO include titles published within the past two years, and have no title duplication among current or past Subject Set offerings. Continue reading EBSCO creates 27 new eBook subject sets

DK, HarperCollins Publishers and Penguin Random House added to Ingram’s MyiLibrary platform

Nashville, TN – Ingram Content Group Inc., today announced the expansion of titles available to libraries and their patrons through its MyiLibrary® e-book platform, offered through Ingram’s Coutts Information Services Inc., with the addition of a wide range of bestselling content from leading publishers.

Continue reading DK, HarperCollins Publishers and Penguin Random House added to Ingram’s MyiLibrary platform

Knowledge Unlatched full report on proof-of-concept pilot for OA monographs

Full Report on the KU Proof-of-Concept Pilot now available here.

Cultural Science Journal has published a full report on the KU Pilot project (Vol 7, No. 2, 2014, ISSN 1836-0416).

“Knowledge Unlatched: A Global Library Consortium Model for Funding Open Access Scholarly Books. Full Report on the Proof-of-Concept Pilot 2014” provides information about the Knowledge Unlatched proof-of-concept Pilot, which took place between January 2012 and September 2014. Continue reading Knowledge Unlatched full report on proof-of-concept pilot for OA monographs

BiblioBoard® Expands Harmony Ink Press Collection to Include More Positive Young Adult LGBTQ+ Titles for Libraries

BiblioBoard has expanded their already comprehensive LGBTQ+ offering to include more positive content for young readers from Dreamspinner’s Young Adult imprint, Harmony Ink Press. Harmony Ink’s update includes 50 new titles, all published in 2014. The books range from thrillers with werewolves and traveling carnivals to more traditional romance and coming-out stories. Continue reading BiblioBoard® Expands Harmony Ink Press Collection to Include More Positive Young Adult LGBTQ+ Titles for Libraries

APA ebooks available for individual purchase on ebrary

November 13, 2014 – Mountain View, CA – Libraries around the world can now acquire the essential Psychology and Behavioral and Social Sciences titles researchers need under flexible models that meet their budget requirements.

The American Psychological Association (APA), the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and the world’s largest association of psychologists, has joined forces with ProQuest ebook business ebrary to make more than 250 titles published since 2009 available electronically Continue reading APA ebooks available for individual purchase on ebrary

Shanghai Library adds 2 million records to WorldCat

DUBLIN, Ohio, September 2, 2014—Shanghai Library, the largest public library in China and one of the largest libraries in the world, has contributed 2 million holdings to WorldCat, including some 770,000 unique bibliographic records, to share its collection worldwide.

These records, which represent books and journals published between 1911 and 2013, were loaded in WorldCat earlier this year. The contribution from Shanghai Library, an OCLC member since 1996, enhances the richness and depth of Chinese materials in WorldCat as well as the discoverability of these collections around the world. Continue reading Shanghai Library adds 2 million records to WorldCat

Ingram and ProQuest expand eBook collaboration

Nashville, TN and Ann Arbor, MI– Ingram Content Group Inc., and ProQuest LLC today announced an expanded e-book collaboration that benefits libraries worldwide.

Earlier this year, the companies teamed to make titles from Ebook Library (EBL) available through Ingram’s OASIS® content platform. Ingram has now added ebrary’s vast range of titles, integrating all ProQuest e-book titles within the platform, simplifying acquisition for the companies’ shared customers. In addition to adding titles to the OASIS platform for firm orders, EBL has also been integrated with Ingram’s e-book approval plans and Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) services. Continue reading Ingram and ProQuest expand eBook collaboration