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Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection (Paperback)

Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection By Mary E. Miller, Suzanne M. Ward Cover Image
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Honored with many accolades, including a starred review in Library Journal, the first edition of this book demonstrated the power and flexibility of “rightsizing,” an approach that applies a scalable, rule-based strategy to help academic libraries balance stewardship of spaces and the collection. In the five years since Ward’s first edition, the shared print infrastructure has grown in leaps and bounds, as has coordination among programs. With this revision, Miller addresses new options as well as the increasing urgency to protect at-risk titles as you reduce your physical collection. Readers will feel confident rightsizing their institution’s own collections with this book’s expert guidance on

  • the concept of rightsizing, a strategic and largely automated approach that uses continuous assessment to identify the no- and low-use materials in the collection, and its five core elements;
  • crafting a rightsizing plan, from developing withdrawal criteria and creating discard lists to managing workflow and disposing of withdrawn materials, using a project-management focus; 
  • moving toward a “facilitated collection” with a mix of local, external, and collaborative services;
  • six discussion areas for decisions on participating in a shared print program;
  • factors in choosing a collection decision support tool;
  • relationships with stakeholders;
  • how to handle print resources after your library licenses perpetual access rights to the electronic equivalent; and
  • future directions for rightsizing 

About the Author

Mary E. Miller is the Director of Collection Management and Preservation at the University of Minnesota Libraries in Minneapolis, MN. She has written and spoken on archives and preservation, shared print programs, and consortial collection management. Her current research interests include print retention issues in academic libraries, risk factors that pertain to monographic retention commitments, models for determining the number of copies needed nationally to ensure survival of scarcely-held titles, and best practices for intentional, data-informed collection management, particularly during withdrawal projects. She holds a BA from the University of Illinois - Chicago, and an IMLS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Suzanne M. Ward retired in 2017 from the Purdue University Libraries in West Lafayette, Indiana. She published the first edition of Rightsizing the Academic Library Collection in 2015. She has also written extensively on patron-driven acquisitions, publishing A Guide to Implementing and Managing Patron-Driven Acquisitions in 2012 and making presentations on the topic both nationally and internationally. Her research interests included print retention issues and the use of e-books in academic libraries. Ward holds a BA from the University of California at Los Angeles, an AMLS from the University of Michigan, and an MA from the University of Memphis.

Praise For…

"I find 'rightsizing' a genuine upgrade from synonyms like weeding, pruning, or deselection. Rather than focusing on what is wrong with the removed materials and rather than acting solely or even primarily in service of space constraints, collections rightsizing seeks to examine materials through a user-centric lens. The collections rightsizing mindset involves affirmative, collaborative, and mindful choices of which materials to keep, resulting in an optimally-sized, attractive, and useful collection ... The authors include plenty of details about how to actually undertake such a project; examples throughout the text include policies to shape and guide a project, print retention memoranda of understanding (MOU) to ensure safety in rightsizing, removal candidate lists (and processes for creating these lists), and suggested procedures at all steps of the way."
— Technicalities

"Highly informative for those who need clear guidance on deselection criteria and how to plan for potential collaborations to manage shared print [collections]."
— Technical Services Quarterly
Product Details
ISBN: 9780838949726
ISBN-10: 083894972X
Publisher: ALA Editions
Publication Date: March 30th, 2021
Pages: 200
Language: English
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