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Wednesday, November 6 • 5:30pm - 6:10pm
S1-02 The Forest and the Trees: What Circulation Turnover Rates Tell Us about Literature Collections in Academic Libraries

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This presentation will report on the findings of a large study of the circulation rates of contemporary literary (primary) texts in ten areas of literature (English, American, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin American, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian) over the past twenty years at the University of Oregon Knight Library. After a brief discussion of methods, the circulation turnover rate (CTR), for each subject area, per year and per dollar spent, will be considered. In order to understand the meaning of these rates, the respective CTRs will be contextualized through five kinds of comparisons: with each other, with the CTRs for the secondary texts in the same call number range and time period, with the CTR for the library collection as a whole, with the CTRs of the same call number domains of other academic libraries and, in the case of foreign language texts, with the CTR for English translations. An analysis of the principal trends and patterns in the data will lead to group discussion of the general question of the value of CTR as a measure of collection performance, an important topic on which the existing literature is surprisingly scant. What is a good CTR? What considerations bear on the interpretation of the CTR as an index of the work of the collection and what implications do the findings from this study of CTRs have for acquisition strategies? A further question to be taken up is what sort of historical responsibilities have academic libraries borne with respect to current literary production: how have academic libraries traditionally conceived their roles and responsibilities towards the collection of primary texts as vital components of the cultural record, and to what extent must today’s academic libraries rethink that historical relationship in response to budgetary constraints?


Jeff Staiger

Literature Librarian, University of Oregon
Collection development, fund allocations, literature, physical vs. electronic books...

Wednesday November 6, 2019 5:30pm - 6:10pm EST
Carolina Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel