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Collection Development Policy: Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound: Ownership, Access & Consortia

Ownership vs Access

Options and formats for access to scholarship are no longer limited to physical materials published by a small number of publishers. The size, scope, and expense of purchasing and accessing information resources continues to challenge libraries everywhere. No library has the opportunity to collect everything, and few have the resources to collect all they might desire.

There are multiple factors that may challenge a library collection, including:

  • Budget cannot keep pace with the proliferation of resources, reducing purchasing power.
  • Space for the physical collection is static, although the collection itself continues to grow.
  • Changing formats require replacement and updated equipment.
  • Multiple formats of the same content offer increased availability, often at increased cost.

Therefore, libraries may choose to purchase some resources, pay for access to some resources, and obtain access through sharing arrangements for materials that are otherwise not obtained. Collins Memorial Library has a core physical collection housed in our library building that is limited by the shelving space we can make available and we have purchased electronic resources which are available through our discovery layer in perpetuity. Additionally, we subscribe to a number of electronic resources for which we do not own the titles but simply pay for our patrons’ access. A growing number of freely accessible electronic resources (open access) are conscientiously added to our collection annually and can be found via the discovery layer. All of these make up the collection we offer our patrons.

Consortium Participation

To augment these efforts, Collins Memorial Library is a participating member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance. The Alliance has established reciprocal borrowing agreements to allow students and faculty use of the collections of the 38 member academic libraries, resulting in patron access to a much bigger collection than any library has individually and allowing for reduced replication between libraries. The Alliance has implemented collective licensing agreements for databases and electronic resources, giving the library greater influence in negotiating for lower prices and more favorable terms with database vendors. The Alliance participates in projects such as patron and evidence driven acquisitions, shared Ebook subscriptions, development of archival collections, and a shared discovery system. For more information about the Orbis Cascade Alliance, please visit, "About the Alliance."

Extending Access

We also rely on interlibrary loan and document delivery to obtain access to resources for our patrons. Interlibrary loan is a formal agreement among libraries to share materials with, or provide copies to, other libraries. Collins Memorial Library borrows and lends physical and electronic materials through membership in the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) network, an automated system that connects the library to thousands of members worldwide.