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Thursday, November 7 • 3:30pm - 4:10pm
Collection Assessment and the Impact of Digital Availability on Print Usage

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This presentation describes two collection assessments from the perspectives of both a large research library and a small academic library. Librarians speculate that the digitization and delivery of items through the HathiTrust may reduce or eliminate demand for the corresponding print content. This belief feeds into a perception that monographs housed within academic libraries and delivered via such services are ripe for deduplication or outright withdrawal from research libraries, often while other institutions remain dependent upon those institutions to provide access for their patrons. Developing an evidence-based understanding of how the availability of digital access to these items might impact both local circulation and the rate of ILL/DD lending for such items is a critical step in determining how our institutions might approach the management of these collections in the future. In part one of the presentation, the speaker will explore the local circulation and ILL lending patterns for monographs from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s collection that are digitized and available via the HathiTrust. Among other things, the presenter will explore: subject-based differences in the demand for original print resources, the demand for print resources from the periods before and after an item was digitized, and copyright restrictions. As the usability of ebooks evolve, we must continue to ask university communities which they prefer: print books or ebooks? Part two of the presentation discusses an assessment of the electronic and print monograph collection at a small academic library. During the spring of 2018, the speaker endeavored to combine and adapt several processes described in recent studies to capture data unique to the University of Portland Clark Library, within the context of the Orbis Cascade Alliance library consortium. The assessment focused on answering this question: How close do librarian perceptions of format and subject preference actually match the behavior of users? Usage of ebooks and print books were compared by subject area using ILS circulation data, vendor reports, and consortial reports. The assessment revealed valuable relationships between format preference, users, and subjects, especially in the humanities disciplines. Ebooks classified in subjects such as Art or Drama showed significantly higher usage than academic research suggested. Print use in Chemistry and Mathematics defied the assumption that STEM field users prefer ebooks. The project provided insight into the preferences of library users and a basis for understanding how each subject area in library and consortial collections are currently read.

avatar for Thomas H. Teper

Thomas H. Teper

Associate Dean of Collections, University of Illinois

Thursday November 7, 2019 3:30pm - 4:10pm EST
Grand Ballroom 1, Gaillard Center