Electronic resources collection development policy statement workshop: A preconference
Post on 16-Sep-2016
1996 Charleston Conference 239
Electronic Resources Collection Development Policy Statement Workshop: A Preconference
Anthony Ferguson, associate university librarian at Columbia University, led the Electronic Resources Collection Development Policy Statement Workshop at the 1996 Charleston Acquisi- tions Conference. To set the tone for active participation, Ferguson initiated the workshop by asking participants for their expectations from the preconference. The eventual list suggested that participants wanted help in making decisions about digital resources related to: criteria for selection, provision of access, new locations of Web materials, trends, expectations of publishers and vendors, collection development in a consortial or cooperative environment, licensing and copyright issues, archiving and preservation, budgeting, and deselection.
Ferguson began to address these expectations by proceeding to discuss the development of an electronic resources collection development policy. He defined a collection development policy statement as a communication tool for management, librarians, users, and other libraries; a detailed outline of collecting levels; a description of collection development responsibilities; and a bud- geting tool that helps librarians decide where to place resources. The three basic elements of a policy are: (1) an introduction, which describes the user group; (2) general policies covering qualitative and collection depth selection factors, technology-related selection factors, budgeting/ cost factors, organizational factors, licensing factors, and preservation/archiving factors; and (3) detailed analyses by subject of what the Library is presently purchasing and what it should be purchasing. Ferguson emphasized that even at Columbia University the overall goal is to selec- tively collect or provide access to information in all subject areas related to the University's academic mission and goals. Resources are finite, and librarians must make difficult choices, giving priority to that information that immediately fulfills curricular and research needs or that addresses the Libraries' strengths.
Ferguson next asked the group to divide into six smaller groups. These groups were asked to answer a set of questions based on one of the six factors (listed above) constituting the general policies in a collection development policy for electronic resources. Once established, each group spent 30 minutes discussing the questions related to its particular factor, and individuals were to share their experiences and challenges. To create a context for answering these questions, Ferguson provided a mock example, Fort Sumpter University, complete with details about the University mission, programs, student demographics, organization, and its library's holdings, book budget, and personnel. Following the discussion, each group developed an oral presentation for discussion with the larger group. One of the main features of each presentation was establishing long-term principles, regardless of changes in technology or funding, to guide the building of the digital library collection of the simulated institution, Fort Sumpter University (or any academic library). To facilitate discussion and assist with the presentations, Ferguson provided copies of the Columbia University Libraries' Principles for Developing the Content of Its Digital and Print Library Collections, the Columbia University Libraries' policy for its digital library collection, as well as other relevant documents from his institution. In addition to the Columbia University Libraries' documents, participants also received a copy of the University of California Libraries' Principles for Acquiring and Licensing (May 22, 1996), information about copyright and licensing decisions, revised definitions for Conspectus Collection Depth Indicators, and a sample worksheet for creating a policy for their own libraries.
Questions for Group One on qualitative and collection depth selection factors covered collection development goals in relationship to digital resources, the measurement of user needs, and selection criteria based on content, language, country of origin, and searchware. This group presented these long-term principles regarding decisions to add resources to the digital library collection: (1) the
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resources must support the University's and Library's respective missions; (2) selectors would choose resources providing the broadest possible and access; (3) the Library would list all titles of electronic resources in the OPAC.
Group Two, which discussed technology-related factors, addressed questions on browsers, bandwidth, storage considerations, various forms of digital access (CD-ROMs, remote access, etc.), response time, updating, and user training. Its long-term principles covering technological deci- sions included: not selecting in a vacuum, providing adequate technical and user support, knowing future technological plans and trends, needing information on minimum hardware requirements, and defining areas of responsibility as well as users' needs and expectations.
To cover budgeting and cost factors, Group Three answered questions about handling various pricing mechanisms, using library funds to purchase hardware and software, and locating funds to purchase electronic resources. In its oral presentation, this group provided a list of the pros and cons regarding pricing mechanisms based on simultaneous users, pay per use, "all you can eat" license agreements, and total potential FTE user group size. They suggested that paying for simultaneous users was favorable when librarians could predict heavy use, but that librarians needed to predict potential use carefully. They pointed out the difficulty of budgeting for pay-per-use licensing agreements and suggested that "all you can eat" agreements might provide more than a library might want or need. Additionally, they determined that pricing based on total FTE might be a good arrangement for consortial deals and for products with heavy use, but that definitions for potential FTE may vary greatly. This group established these long-term principles to guide budgeting: adherence to the University mission, regular reassessment of strategic plans, and commitment to hardware/technical support.
Questions for Group Four on organizational factors included issues on human resources, job responsibilities, and authority in terms of maintenance and monitoring of resources as well as and selecting and acquiring materials. Group Four presented these long-term organizational principles to which Fort Sumpter might adhere: (1) making cooperative decisions that included the Library, academic computing services, various Library departments, and library users and various combi- nations of these groups; (2) continuous evaluation of selection processes; (3) training for staff and users; and (4) continuous evaluation of user needs.
Group Five, which discussed licensing factors, covered questions on whether to sign license agreements with questionable restrictions and requirements regarding who has access, what you have to purchase (print and electronic), how data is made accessible, and whether you pay for beta tests and experiments, as well as questions about who can and who should sign and read licensing agreements. This group pointed out the importance of educating University legal personnel about library issues when licensing electronic products. They suggested that Fort Sumpter librarians might pay attention to these factors when signing licensing agreements: (1) access via multiple formats; (2) ongoing access to information after a licensing agreement has ceased; (3) realistic and unrealistic restrictions on access or use of a product; (4) differences in promotional vs. ongoing pricing; and (5) pricing differentials based on format.
Group Six discussed preservation and archival factors and its members discussed the archival responsibilities of libraries, publishers, and vendors; the conversion of existing materials; and the development of original digital resources. They suggested that Fort Sumpter librarians should consider several issues when developing long-term preservation or archiving principles. These issues include: uniqueness of a resource, costs for ongoing conversion, user base, need or demand for a resource, provision of access, space limitations, funding sources, suitability of content, subject strengths, and currentness of information.
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PII S0364-6408(97)00055-0 Faye A. Chadwell Head of Collection Development
University of Oregon Libraries Eugene, OR
Charleston Conference Keynote Address: James T. Stephens
James Stephens, President of EBSCO Industries, delivered the first keynote address of the 1996 Charleston Conference. He provided a brief overview of the history of the serials industry and the transformation that has taken place during the past few decades. Driven by "raging changes" due to rapid technological development, successful serials vendors have reexamined, restructured, and reaffirmed their basic mission as information managers and deliverers.
Acknowledging that the industry has at times experienced "indigestion" resulting from rapid "consumption," Stephens addressed the very brief lifespan for most software and the costs and difficulties of maintaining dual systems during transitional periods. The result is often confusion and a loss of control. To successfully manage such change, several steps are necessary. A company or institution must clearly understand its mission, determine the origin of the change, identify the points of impact, and adapt a pure focus, using change agents within the unit. Some personnel, however, can be expected to remain married to the old methods.
Technological innovations have assisted the introduction of new products and services includ- ing: CD-ROM software and the licensing of full-text journals and other forms of electronic information. Additionally, serials and ILS vendors have fostered closer cooperation to the benefit of their mutual customers.
Multiple players are emerging on the scene. Online information distributors, secondary publishers, subscription agents, and ILS vendors all want to be sources for information processing and distribution. Stephens foresees the development of an EBSCO Web site that would link users to pricing and licensing information, accommodate orders, handle the financial data, connect with thousands of publisher sites, and provide access to full-text materials. The user would be able to access a title file with bibliographic, technical, and commercial information. Order history and renewal screens would be available, and the site could also serve as a full-text warehouse for selected titles.
PII S0364-6408(97)00027-6 Nancy Kaul Head of Collection Management
University Libraries Box 5053
The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5053
Approaches to Internet.Based Collection Development: Models, Trade-Offs, and Issues
That was the question posed to conferees by Dr. Charles R. McClure (Distinguished Professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University), as he presented one of four keynote