Our initial focus was to identify and remove titles that were replicated and available in a stable digital format; for example contained in JSTOR or Project Muse. However, this did not yield the amount of space we needed to free up so we reviewed remaining titles in the context of additional criteria:
Collection Development Principles for the Humanities
Students and scholars in the humanities require access to a wide and diverse spectrum of library materials, published over a range of time, in both print and digital formats. Format decisions are based on appropriateness for content and intended uses.
Key considerations include the following:
In practice, these considerations currently require Collins Library to maintain a larger print collection in support of the humanities than it does for the sciences and the social sciences. Any switch to digital facsimiles must look closely at the stability of the platforms and the anticipated uses of the materials.
Collection review is an ongoing process in any academic library. We continuously evaluate collections in response to changes in the curriculum, formats, scholarly content, and the needs of the campus community. However, the process this summer was accelerated due to the impact of the construction project as well as concerns about the longevity of some of our compact shelving.
De-selection of library materials is an integral and ongoing part of a library’s collection management and development processes. Materials that are worn or damaged, duplicate copies, materials which contain outdated or inaccurate information, superseded editions of specific titles, materials no longer of interest, or in-demand, or materials that are readily available in digital format are candidates for withdrawal.
Decisions concerning the de-selection or replacement of a title are made by the appropriate subject liaison librarian taking into consideration the demand for the item, the existing resources in the subject area, and the importance of the title to the literature of the discipline.
The library uses a variety of means to dispose of surplus materials. These include sharing with other libraries, redistributing via vendors that specialize in selling discarded library materials, offering to the staff senate book sale, reusing in artist endeavors for classes or for the Makerspace, recycling and discarding to the trash when there are no other options.
When making collection decisions about print periodicals in the sciences, Collins librarians looked at a number of factors. Journals whose content is available electronically to the Puget Sound community, either through paid subscription or through relevant disciplinary archives such as PubMed Central or the Biodiversity Heritage Library, were first to be considered for deaccession. Extra consideration for retention was given to journals which support the work of students in our liberal arts curriculum, rather than those supporting fields which are not directly part of the teaching and learning at Puget Sound (e.g engineering, agriculture). Finally, given that scholarship in the sciences tends toward usage of more recently published research, the currency of the material was weighed as an important, though not necessarily deciding, factor.
Increasingly over the years departments in the Social Sciences have indicated a preference for moving to electronic access to journal literature in their disciplines. Because of this, many of the print journals remaining in the libraries collection do not encompass current issues of a publication, and often were bits and pieces of a journals publication run.
When reviewing the periodicals collection we first looked for duplicate electronic access, then at the relevance of the content to the current curriculum, and finally at the currency of the material and use patterns. Some print titles were retained to support courses taught on the history of a discipline where electronic access did not go back as far as the print holdings, and some periodicals were retained because they contain unique historical information and will serve as primary sources.
The School of Business & Leadership curriculum emphasizes contemporary periodical publications that are largely available electronically. Journals unavailable electronically were reviewed in consultation with B&L faculty members. In consultation with the Department of Economics, the faculty members expressed that curricular needs were met sufficiently through our electronic subscriptions and interlibrary loan services, however some historical periodicals were retained as primary resources.